Verizon Gets Ready to Launch 4G, No Handsets Until Mid-2011
Verizon Wireless is about to move from talking about first large-scale LTE (4G) cellular network to actually launching its service on Sunday, December 5th, bringing service to 38 metropolitan areas and 60 airports in the United States. The network is launching with only broadband data plans for USB modems, as handsets utilizing the technology are not expected until mid-2011.
Even though Verizon’s network will launch in December, it will be only for laptops for a while, with 4G consumer phones expected by the middle of next year. As with past leaps, the big plus of the 4G network is faster connections.
Multiple mainstream news sources have reported that Apple is set to release a Verizon-compatible version of the iPhone as early as January 2011, although that model is not expected to support Verizon’s new 4G network. In fact, rumors have suggested that the next major revision to the iPhone, likely set for launch in June or July of next year, also will not support 4G. Such a move would follow the precedent set by Apple with the original iPhone, which did not offer 3G compatibility despite AT&T offering a 3G network at that time, with Apple opting to wait to adopt the technology until the following year when it had matured and availability expanded to more markets.