Sprint Speeds WiMAX Adoption In Preparation
Well, Big Red has gone and done it now. They've just sent out a press release announcing the launch of their LTE wireless network on December 5. Like literally every single carrier in the US, Verizon claims to have the World's Largest 4G network. And, also like literally every single carrier in the US, they are lying through their teeth. There is no 4G network in the United States yet.
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But that won't stop the ads. Nor does it make it any less awesome that people will soon be able to buy an LTE mobile broadband data plan for $50/month that delivers speeds of 5-12 Mbps (down) and 2 to 5 Mbps (up) in real-world conditions. That's with a 5 GB cap, but everyone but Sprint uses pretty much that same cap.
Verizon's plan scales well: $80/month for 10 GB is more mobile data than all but the craziest torrent-freaks will use. Two USB modems will be Big Red's only LTE devices for a while, with handsets due out "by mid-2011". At launch, LTE will cover 38 cities and 60 commercial airports across the country. Go here to see if your home is covered.
This whole 'having an LTE network' thing seems to have gone to Verizon's head a bit. They bragged in the release that Google's Android OS "took off" as a result of the Droid. Big Red feels that they had an integral role in Android's early success, and that they will also be the carrier to popularize 4G. It'll be interesting to see if Verizon's public attitude towards Android changes once they start carrying the iPhone.
Sprint hasn't been sitting on their laurels with the first 4G phone, waiting for Verizon LTE to come along and give them competition. Clearwire just expanded their 4G WiMAX service into five new markets. Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio now have 4G. As do LA and Miami.
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WiMAX service will come to San Francisco on December 28. Perhaps earlier, since LA's service rolled out ahead of schedule. Clearwire is on track to have 120 million people covered by the end of 2010. Verizon will cover roughly 110 POPs at launch. For more news on LTE, check out Big Red's fancy and loud new website.