4G in the U.S.: Tale of the Tape


Mobile WiMAX will claim almost 2 million subscribers by the end of the year, according to ABI Research, as the technology begins to get legs — wobbly little legs, but legs nonetheless — in the U.S. as well as a handful of other markets including Russia and Malaysia. Meanwhile, LTE is inching closer to reality, with Verizon Wireless (s vz) this week revealing expected speeds for the 4G network it will begin building out in 2010. The window for WiMAX in the U.S., on the other hand, will remain open next year, with AT&T (s t) not due to launch commercial LTE services until 2011. So here’s a quick breakdown in advance of next year’s battle of 4G technologies in the U.S.:

Download Speeds 3-6 Mbps average, up to 10 Mbps 5-12 Mbps average
Price $70/month N/A
No. of Subscribers 173,000 N/A
Deployments to Date 25 markets including Chicago, Dallas and Seattle Verizon Wireless trials in Boston and Seattle
2010 Deployments roughly 65 new markets 25-30 markets from Verizon Wireless; AT&T to begin trial services



Unfortunately GigaOM persists in classifying and rating services in terms of download speeds. Even when considered by itself, does the average consumer ever consistently get the speed quoted by a wireless provider?

Looking at the bigger picture, especially in light of recent AT&T rumblings, what caps will the providers put in place to protect against “bandwidth abuse” by their customers?

Quoting how fast is meaningless without the context of how much.


Tale of the Tape? What tale does LTE have to tell? Interesting, the only stat the rbocs are touting is projected speed but not a single subscriber to date. Why are all these blogs buying the rboc party line? Hell these guys can’t even get 3G to work properly……


“wobbly little legs, but legs nonetheless ”
Really ? I think they are ahead in the game.

dougan milne

I think this is still one of the most interesting battles in technology today. VHS/Beta, BluRay/HD… WiMax/LTE. I have a soft-spot for the WiMax operators, being from Seattle.

Realistically, the telecom operators have such a huge advantage through their existing network infrastructure (there are some disadvantages there too), and more importantly, their exiting customer base.

Staying tuned.


Malaysia already has LTE… interesting, a Malaysian company just bought Friendster. Just saying :)

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