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With Sprint steadily increasing the presence of its 4G network across the U.S., thanks to its partnership with Clearwire, other mobile carriers will have to settle on their 4G plans soon. Thus far, we’ve been hearing that AT&T, T-Mobile (its HSPA+ 3G network doesn’t count), and Verizon won’t have anything to show until 2011.
But now we have reason to believe Verizon may actually unveil its LTE 4G network — which promises to be more than ten times faster than its 3G network — this year: The carrier is reportedly planning to launch it in 25 markets on November 15, covering 100 million users, according to the smartphone site Boy Genius Report.
In addition, the carrier is planning to release new handsets on Black Friday (November 26), which will likely be Verizon’s first 4G-capable phones. Alternatively, Verizon may initially make 4G modems the selling point for its new network, much like Sprint did with its 4G network. LTE technology for handsets is still nascent, so don’t expect a potential LTE-equipped Verizon iPhone in January 2011.
Boy Genius also reports that Verizon’s LTE data plans will be tiered, confirming previous reports that the carrier would be moving away from unlimited plans like AT&T. There’s no telling if the shift to tiered data plans will affect Verizon 3G users, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.
Don’t miss MobileBeat 2010, VentureBeat’s conference on the future of mobile. The theme: “The year of the superphone and who will profit.” Now expanded to two days, MobileBeat 2010 will take place on July 12-13 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Early-bird pricing is available until May 31. For complete conference details, or to apply for the MobileBeat Startup Competition, click here.
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