Verizon made quite some noise when it launched it’s 4G LTE network on December 5, a next-gen wireless network primarily for mobile devices, but well-suited for the home and business internet users as well.
With speeds typically ranging from 5Mbps to 12Mbps, or even 40Mbps or more when signal strength is excellent, Verizon boasts wireless connections speeds that pretty much make every traditional land-line such as DSL and cable on offer look like they should be on their way out.
With prices weighing heavily on customers’ decisions, even in a segment of the mobile market that would be up until recently be described as luxury, Verizon chose to keep its head clear and its prices low. Verizon’s 4G offers two plans currently, $50 for 5GB of monthly data, and $80 for 10GB of bandiwdth, with $10 per extra gigabyte. Compare these prices with the standard 3G plans, and what a surprise, they are identical. Pleasant surprise, wouldn’t you say?
It seems Verizon wants to make this launch a landmark in the wireless communications industry. By offering customers data connections on a working 4G (well, almost 4G, but for all intents and purposes definitely a lot faster than 3G) network at the same prices as their 3G network, it’s plain and simple that Verizon wants to move on and leave the rest behind, by making customers swarm to her in order to enjoy 4G speeds at last year’s prices. And it’s also a nice incentive for her existing subscribers to switch to 4G, invariably increasing demand and sales for 4G-capable devices, most notably smartphones even though they are currently unavailable, but 4G modems as well, since the laptop and netbook markets are growing larger and larger each day.
Certainly a laptop with no Internet connectivity feels pretty much like a car with no gas. The new 4G network offers such differences in speed, connectivity and response times, that those who held back because they didn’t believe that 3G felt like a “real” Internet connection, are bound to change their opinions and seriously think about getting a 4G plan.
But, is it really that good? Verizon promises download speeds between 5-12Mbps, and upload speeds between 2-5Mbps. Real world tests so far are even better, since download speeds of up to 60Mbps have been observed during testing, as well as 30Mbps to 40Mbps when the service launced. Hold your horses though because that doesn’t mean Verizon is being shy and modest, it just means that the network is still practically empty, since not that many people are using it yet.
It looks like Verizon can live up to its promises though and deliver the goods. The more the subscribers, more losses in speed will occur, and subscribers should except a more sluggish network. But if Verizon can deliver 40Mbps on first launch, then it should also be able to continue to deliver the 5Mbps to 12Mbps it promises in the near future, even when the service becomes even more popular than current 3G data connections.