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Verizon Promises LTE Speeds of 5-12 Mbps

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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.

24 Responses to “Verizon Promises LTE Speeds of 5-12 Mbps”

  1. @MG Um no, sorry. I don’t care what a press release from Telstra says about up to 8Mb/s, the average user will never see it. LTE technology has far better cell edge performance and spectral efficiency. Thats why the min for LTE is 5Mb/s at cell edge and 12Mb/s at peak signal strength.

    Keep in mind you are coming to a thread saying Verizon’s future LTE network pales in comparison to the Telstra HSPA+ network when the physics of the air interface of WCDMA simply cannot perform the same as an OFDM as used with LTE. Its apples and oranges, not mention the latency differences.

  2. @MG – you are not getting 5-12Mb/s throughput on HSPA+. These listed speeds are actual tested throughputs, not what the standard was specs out as being technically capable of. If you want to look at technicals

    HSPA+ 56Mb/s Up / 22Mb/s down (Telsta is only operating at half the possible spec, and even slower on actual throughput)

    LTE 2+2 MIMO 172Mb/s Up / 86.4Mb/s down (5-12Mb/s down and 2-5Mb/s up is real world expected speeds, many multiples current CDMA/HSPA technology.

  3. Colin Gibbs

    @ tom — You’re right that most mainstream consumers aren’t all that concerned about broadband speeds on their phones, but that’s sure to change (and probably is already) as more people lean on cellular networks to connect their netbooks, laptops and (eventually) a host of other gadgets. That said, you’re also right that capacity will be key.

  4. Itstheday

    The one thing they need to do is get rid of bandwidth caps. I have a Sprint MiFi with a 5GB cap. When I use it for email I don’t have a problem. When I want to use it for more than I reach the bandwidth caps in 5 days. I did use it to watch a few online shows but still you could never get 5GB to last a whole month as a broadband substitute.

  5. Will they also offer a backpack to carry the handset’s battery? ;-)

    Only half joking. I was in Europe last month with my Blackberry Tour and found that on a 3G connection the battery barely lasted one day. Switching to GPRS noticeable improved the situation, of course at greatly reduced throughput.

    I can only imagine what a power-hog a 4G device will be…

  6. i don’t get it. the problem with mobile broadband today is not speed but capacity. they should be offering lower speeds but cheaper prices the the capacity to serve many more customers. i just do not see i need for that much speed to a mobile device. that kind of speed is needed to take on wired broadband though. but will the capacity and pricing make that practical?

    i would much rather see LTE technology used to drastically decrease price and increase customer count.