Verizon Wireless, in a public relations stunt that we hope they’ll never pull again, issued 21 separate press releases naming cities that will get access to their 4G LTE network on September 15th. Let’s get this out of the way: Kalamazoo, Michigan; Saginaw, Michigan; Las Cruces, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Wichita Falls, Texas; Austin, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; The San Francisco Bay Area (coverage area set to increase); Reno, Nevada; Santa Barbara County, California; San Luis Obispo County, California; Bloomington/Normal, Champaign/Urbana, Rockford, Springfield, and the Quad Cities in Illinois; Mansfield, Ohio; Canton, Ohio, and the Akron-Canton Airport; Cleveland, Ohio (coverage area set to increase); Lima, Ohio; Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota; and finally Iowa City, Iowa.
If you live in one of those areas, then congratulations, you’ll soon be able to hop on what PC Mag declared to be the fastest wireless network in the United States; over twice as fast as the second largest network, T-Mobile. Be warned though, it’s not going to be cheap. For $50 per month you’re only going to get 5 GB worth of data, which you’ll be able to burn through in less than 24 hours if you plan on saturating your LTE connection. There’s a more expensive $80 per month plan that doubles that to 10 GB, and that’s much more bearable if you only use your LTE modem whenever you can’t find an open WiFi hotspot.
Other options include Clearwire/Sprint, who doesn’t put a limit on how much data you can consume, but then again they don’t exactly have a stellar coverage map. There’s also T-Mobile, who will give you up to 10 GB per month of high speed data, then let you consume as much as you want after you hit your data cap for no additional cost, albeit at 2G speeds. Choose carefully, and take advantage of the WiFi in public institutions such as libraries.