Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to launch its LTE network in 25 markets on Nov. 15, according to a report on the blog Boy Genius Report, which cited an anonymous source. The blog also said the carrier will launch "a slew of new devices" on the high-volume Black Friday shopping day, Nov. 26. Verizon has only officially confirmed plans for a fourth quarter LTE launch in 25-30 markets, covering 100 million POPs.
According to the blog, Verizon's LTE data plans will be tiered-Verizon executives have hinted at tiered pricing for months now--and Verizon will not charge a premium for LTE connections. Currently, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) charges HTC Evo smartphone users an extra $10 in data fees; the phone is the carrier's first mobile WiMAX handset.
Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson declined to comment on a launch date for the network, and reiterated the carrier's plans. "We've also noted the first devices that will be available to access the new network are likely to be PC cards and USB dongles, for high-speed laptop connectivity," he told FierceWireless. "Other types of devices, including those designed for individual consumers, are slated for the middle of next year."
Earlier this month Verizon said it had started friendly user trials of its LTE network in five U.S. cities. The carrier has been conducting technical trials in Boston and Seattle, and reported that the network will provide average data speeds of 5-12 Mbps for downloads and 2-5 Mbps for uploads.
Additionally, Verizon has started a project to partner with rural carriers, tower companies and backhaul firms to license its spectrum in an effort to build out LTE in rural areas.
- see this Boy Genius Report post
Verizon launching LTE user trials in 5 cities
Verizon smartphone customers consume 600-800 MB per month
Verizon to launch LTE markets in Q4
Verizon breaks ground on LTE center
Verizon's Lynch: LTE on track for 2010 launch