Verizon confirmed that it will launch its LTE network on December 5th. The wireless carrier will kick off its 4G campaign by rolling out the high-speed mobile broadband service in 38 cities and 60 airports this Sunday. The service will blanket 110 million people at launch. Southern California will be its largest launch market with coverage for 20 million people. Coast-to-Coast coverage will be available by the end of 2013.
As expected, the wireless carrier will launch with two USB-based LTE modems including the LG VL600 and the Pantech UML290. Both devices offer 4G connectivity, an internal antenna, LED indicator lights, and are compatible with the Windows Platform only. Mac users need not apply. The LG VL600 will be available at launch for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year customer agreement. The Pantech UML290 will be available soon with the same $99 price tag.
Data plans for these LTE devices are expectedly high with a $50 monthly plan with 5GB of data or an $80 monthly plan with 10GB of data. Both plans will incur overage charges of $10/GB overage. Usage will be monitored via text messages sent to users when they are at 50%, 75%, 90% and 100% of allowance.
The LTE network was built from the ground up along side its 3G network and uses the latest technology. Verizon claims it will be cutting edge for the next decade.The carrier is promising speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up for its LTE service. Coverage will extend to Verizon’s 3G network so folks with an LTE modem do not have to worry about which network they are using. As expected, voice will be initially carried over 3G, data over 4G.
Verizon is planning to launch 4G-capable smartphones by the middle of 2011 with a possible early showing at CES in January. The entire list of launch cities and airports are located on the second page of this post.