Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced the addition of 59 new markets that will be covered by the carrier’s 4G LTE service in 2011. These new regions are in addition to the 88 markets Verizon Wireless already announced, bringing the total number of projected markets that will receive LTE coverage from Verizon this year to 147. “Aggressively expanding this powerful network beyond major metro areas reflects the reality that the 4G LTE ecosystem is growing quickly, ” Verizon Wireless CTO David Small said in a statement. “Our commitment to reach deep into medium-sized cities and smaller communities by the end of 2011 means the power of 4G LTE can be harnessed and provide advanced services to law enforcement, healthcare workers, educators, and other professionals, as well as to individual consumers, sooner than many thought possible.” Verizon Wireless launched its first 4G LTE-enabled smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, last week, and the carrier currently offers a variety of LTE modems. Hit the break for the full press release.
In a short press release today, Nokia announced that its business-centric E7 handset would begin arriving in stores in “select markets” starting this week. The full-QWERTY, horizontal slide and tilt device boasts a 4-inch ClearBlack display, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HDMI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The device, which was officially announced back in September of this year, should retail for around €495. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Today, via a press release, Verizon officially unveiled the launch of its next-generation data network. Based on LTE technology, the new network will officially open its doors on December 5th, covering 38-cities and 60 airports around the continental U.S.; Verizon continues to promise nationwide coverage by 2013.
Upon launch, two USB data-sticks — the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 — will be available to consumers. Both devices will be backward compatible with the company’s 3G, EVDO network and will retail for $99.99 with a signed 2-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. Verizon will offer two data plans for its new high-speed network, a $50 monthly plan with a 5GB data allowance or an $80 monthly plan with a 10GB monthly allowance; overages on both plans will be billed at $10 per gigabyte.
Verizon boasts that speeds on the LTE network will range from 5 to 12Mbps on the downlink and 2 to 5Mbps on the uplink. Hit the jump to check out the full press release, which includes a full list of launch cities.
UPDATE: Verizon will address LTE-enable smartphones at CES in Las Vegas this January and street-level coverage maps will be available starting this Sunday. More →
Verizon is set to officially unveil its LTE launch plans in just a few minutes. Ahead of that scheduled announcement, the company has gone live with its 4G, LTE website, which includes details on launch markets (38 cites, 60 airports), available devices (currently two data sticks), and a handy service locator (so you can see if you’ll be covered). The LTE network, along with the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 4G data-sticks will all be available starting on December 5th. Hit the read link to check it out for yourself. More →
There have been rumors floating around the internet about Verizon Wireless offering a second, “tiered” data plan, and that rumor was confirmed today. America’s largest wireless provider will begin offering a $15 monthly data plan to 3G smartphone users that offers 150MB data allowance. The carrier will bill overages at $15 per 150MB and the $30, unlimited data plan will remain unchanged.
Also hot off the rumor wagon, Engadget is reporting that Verizon is testing calling plans with unlimited, any-mobile-to-mobile minutes — a la Sprint — in select markets across Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The plans range from $60 all the way up to $130 — offering between 450 and 2000 minutes — and include unlimited text messaging. The unlimited mobile-to-mobile offerings are available until the end of 2010 at which point, we assume, Verizon will either expand or cancel the plans depending on demand. More →
T-Mobile has been on a PR tear in the last few days. Magenta announced the addition of 16 U.S. cities to their HSPA+ network portfolio. Biloxi and Gulfport, MS; Denver, CO; Huntsville, AL.; Knoxville, TN; Myrtle Beach, SC; Norfolk, VA.; Omaha, NE; Phoenix and Tucson, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, CA; and West Palm Beach, FL. T-Mo reiterated that they will have HSPA+ coverage available in 100 markets by the end of 2010.
Yesterday, pre-paid wireless provider MetroPCS dropped a few more details about their first LTE phone and launch plans. MetroPCS CEO Roger Linquist noted that the company’s first LTE device would be the Samsung Craft and that its price would be comparable to that of smartphones currently in its lineup. Currently, the most expensive device in Metro’s lineup is the BlackBerry Curve 8530, which retails for $279. Mr. Linquist also noted that netbooks and other non-smartphone devices were likely to appear on his company’s LTE network at some point in the future. MetroPCS will begin its LTE rollout in Las Vegas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Also of note, the CEO said his company would bolster their handset lineup to, “include a number of Android devices by the end of the year.” More →
One of our solid Verizon Wireless connects has dropped us a line to let us know that Verizon Wireless has made successful end-to-end LTE data calls in 34 of the 38 test markets it is currently operating. This leaked document seems to confirm what Verizon had said back in June, that they are on schedule to meet their goal of 25 to 30 LTE markets live by the end of 2010. We’ve already seen prototype LTE data sticks, what we’re really interested in seeing is LTE handsets!
Thanks, VzW Tipster!
Is Microsoft looking to buy RIM? According to the latest buzz on Wall Street, the answer is possibly, but only if RIMs shares hit the $40 mark. With RIMs shares hovering around the $60 mark, Microsoft is rumored to be looking for RIM to tumble further before taking action. Said Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek, “RIM is a massive strategic fit for Microsoft. I’m fairly certain they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 [a share].” Granted this does sound a bit far fetched, but considering that the market cap of RIM is approximately $34 billion at $60 a share and would equal $28 billion at $50 per share, the move makes sense. But how would Microsoft afford such an expensive purchase? With cash and stock options, something which Microsoft has $23.6 billion to spare. If you were Balmer & Co., would you pursue the purchase of RIM?