Verizons LTE Launches Without Compatible Smartphones

Verizon Wireless will turn on its LTE service in 38 markets this coming Sunday, but the mobile operator still doesnt have compatible phones for the 4G network.

For now, Verizon is targeting road warriors with laptops; users will get average data rates of 5-12mbps downstream and 2-5mbps upstream, the company said.

Verizon will charge $50 per month for 5GB, which costs $10 less than 5GB on the 3G network. Verizon also will offer 10GB on its LTE network for $80. So far, the operator has not imposed any data caps. However, subscribers who exceed their monthly allotment will pay $10 for each additional gigabyte they consume.

Smartphones and other devices that can run on Verizons LTE platform wont be available until at least the middle of next year. At some point, analysts expect consumers to use 4G access to connect not just phones and tablet computers, but also devices including cameras, portable gaming systems and medical equipment.

Greater broadband connectivity will fuel innovations such as smart-grid energy management, augmented reality, remote health care for rural communities and remote sensing security systems,” said Dan Hays, partner at consulting firm PRTM, in a press release.

Verizon intends to cover its entire 3G footprint with LTE by 2013. Its LTE network is the first in the United States and will compete with Clearwire Corp., which runs on the WiMAX standard.

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