Verizon will launch 4G LTE network on December 5

Verizon 4GLooks like Verizon is going to deliver that 4G network it’s been talking about for the past year. Today the company announced that this Sunday, it will begin the launch of the first 4G LTE network. Just to give you an idea of its capabilities, Verizon claims the new mobile broadband will offer speeds up to 10 times faster than its 3G network currently provides.

Before going any further, let’s get one thing out of the way: This isn’t technically 4G. According to the International Telecommunications Union, the service doesn’t meet the requirements. Verizon is aware of this, but says it doesn’t matter. “Whether we call it 4G or something else is really not that relevant. It is a quantum generational step up from what our customers experience today,” Verizon CTO Tony Melone said today in a press conference with reporters. And with download speeds of 5 to 12 mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 mbps, he wasn’t kidding. (Neither of the other providers advertising “4G” service, T-Mobile with HSPA+ and Sprint/Clear with WiMax, meet the ITU’s strict 4G stipulations, either.)

It feels like 3G was just barely introduced and now providers are scrambling to get on the 4G train. When Verizon initially announced its plans to carry 4G by year’s end, AT&T scoffed, saying the technology wouldn’t be competent until 2012. While the 4G network’s nationwide coverage will roll out over the next three years, as of Sunday it will be available in 38 markets and 60 airports. Verizon also says smartphones are sure to follow in the next year (rumor has it handsets with the service will be introduced at CES this January).

Verizon will have two data plans to choose from. For $50 a month, customers can get 5GB and for $80, 10GB. Exceed your monthly limit, and you’ll be billed $10 per extra gigabyte. A pretty reasonable price, considering Verizon’s 3G coverage is $60 a month for 5GB. And for anyone concerned about the whole mess the carrier was in for massively overcharging millions of customers, Verizon is quick to assure users it will be sending warnings when you’re reaching your data limit. And these prices are extremely competitive with 4G rivals Sprint and T-Mobile.

For the time being, Verizon is marketing USB cards that give its laptop subscribers 4G LTE access. No 4G available? No problem – the cards will also be able to use 3G. One will run you $49 (with a $50 rebate) and a two-year contract.

Apple has reportedly been interested in Verizon’s 4G ambitions, and this development could be the catalyst for iOS devices to break their current AT&T exclusivity. But recently, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg even commented on the iPhone rumors, saying it might be little more than wishful thinking that Apple would be making its way to Verizon Wireless. Two weeks ago, Seidenberg also seemed to be indulging that wishful thinking, telling The Wall Street Journal, “If the iPhone comes to us, it’s because Apple thinks it’s time. Our interests are beginning to come together more but they have to take steps to align their technology with ours.”

Verizon hopes to complete its 4G expansion by 2013. See below for a complete list of cities the service will be available to this Sunday.

  • Akron, Ohio
  • Athens, Georgia
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Houston, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York, New York
  • Oakland, California
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Rochester, New York
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Lafayette, Indiana
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Mobile

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.
Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Mobile

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.
Mobile

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.
Deals

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.
Mobile

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Costco members can cut up to $200 off MacBook and iMac price tags

Costco is discounting MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops by as much as $200 as part of a members-only sale. It also has deals on select MacBooks and iMacs, with optional Apple Care in most instances.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.