Verizon Promises LTE Speeds of 5-12 Mbps

Verizon Wireless (s vzw) has finally disclosed expected speeds for its upcoming LTE network, saying the technology will support average data rates per user of 5-12 Mbps on download and 2-5 Mbps on uploads. LTE latency will be roughly one-fourth that of existing 3G technologies, the carrier boasts on its site touting the 4G offering, and will be more than 10 times faster than 3G.

The LTE speeds are impressive, to be sure, outperforming even today’s wired broadband for many. And it compares favorably to WiMAX, which supports download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and average downloads of 3-6 Mbps. But Verizon has yet to disclose pricing for its 4G services, and we’re unlikely to see data caps increase much until the company and other carriers build out their LTE networks on a large scale.

Verizon on the site also promises to be the first U.S. operator to launch LTE, starting with 25 to 30 markets in 2010 and covering roughly 100 million people. The operator vows to extend coverage to its current 3G footprint in 2013.

There will surely be substantial demand for LTE from users looking for lightning-fast wireless connections for phones, netbooks and other gadgets, but until we know what kind of price points and restrictions come with 4G offerings, it’s too early to predict how soon we’ll see a world without wires.