Verizon’s first smartphone with support for its new LTE wireless network is going to be released earlier than many had expected. The carrier hasn’t decided how much to charge users for this very fast 4G service, however.
The largest mobile phone service company in the U.S. is scheduled to have its LTE (Long Term Evolution) service up and running in 38 markets by the end of this year.
Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications, says that his company is aggressively working on LTE devices, and will introduce a smartphone with it in February. Previously, the carrier had only promised to have 4G phones available by the middle of next year.
Information leaking out of Verizon indicates that the first phone with this high-speed service could be the HTC Droid Incredible HD, an Android OS-based model with a very large display and other cutting-edge features.
Company executives say that this model will be followed up by a number of other smartphones and tablets.
Verizon Still Figuring Out Pricing
Seidenberg says that Verizon is considering a number of options for charging customers for 4G service.
Almost all of the plans in consideration involve consumers paying more to access this faster cellular-wireless data service. The only proposed plan that wouldn’t have a higher monthly fee than current 3G plans would give 4G customers a lower quota of data transfers.
But Seidenberg makes it clear that no decisions have been made yet. “We need to get into it, figure out what the customer thinks is fair, and go from there.”
More about LTE
Verizon Wireless expects 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.
LTE is a data-only service, so Verizon’s first-generation LTE models are expected to also offer support for its voice-only network that uses the CDMA standard. These models will also include the 3G standard EV-DO.