Today is the launch day for Verizon Wireless’ LTE service, but at this point only PC users can access it. Smartphone users, as well as those with a Mac, will have to wait for this carrier’s very fast wireless data service.
Verizon introduced its 4G service in 38 major metropolitan areas today, giving over 110 million potential customers access to a network significantly faster than EV-DO Rev. A, its 3G service.
At this point, the only way to use this LTE network is with a USB modem. And there’s only one model available now, though a second is expected to be available very soon. To limit things even more, the only software driver for these models is for Windows, so Mac OS X and Linux users still have to wait.
What about 4G Phones?
Smartphone users are looking at a wait of several months before they will be able to use this high-speed data service.
Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications, said recently that a 4G smartphone will debut in February. However, several days later, Verizon stepped back from that statement, and now will only say that for the first phone with LTE will be out in the first half of next year.
More about LTE
Verizon Wireless expects its 4G LTE average data rates to be 5-12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2-5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments.
There are two 4G service plans. One option gives users a 5 GB monthly allowance for $50. For $80, subscribers can get 10 GB of data transfers. There is an additional $10 fee per gigabyte of overage.
Those who are interested can go to one of Verizon’s stores, or its website, to order a 4G USB model.