As much as smartphone, mobile hotspot and connected notebook users love the blazing fast speeds afforded by 4G LTE service, it’s tough to be an early adopter when new devices carry such a premium. Verizon Wireless’ latest 4G phone, the DROID Charge, hit the market at a jaw dropping $300 on contract, for example. According to a report from DigiTimes on Thursday, devices with embedded 4G LTE radios are about to get significantly less expensive. With various chipset vendors set to begin mass production of new single-mode LTE chips later this year and Qualcomm preparing production of its multi-mode LTE chips in the first half next year, prices are expected to drop substantially in the second half of 2012. The new components are expected to decrease the cost of LTE network interface cards by 50% or more, and those savings will hopefully trickle across a variety of 4G LTE-enabled end user products quickly.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.