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Nadeem Unuth

Verizon Launches LTE Network

By December 8, 2010

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As announced, Verizon has launched the first LTE network on the market. This is considered as an upgrade over its existing 3G package, in that it will increase the speed by ten times, up to 5 - 12 Mbps.

Many people, including you and I, have been expecting much from what people call 4G and LTE. But apart from the increase in speed, nothing much is added as improvement, in my humble opinion. First, there still is talk, as DSLreports says, on whether the network can be qualified a 4G network, because theoretically, a 4G network offers 100Mbps to a moving device and up to 1Gbps when it is stationary. Verizon's 4G offers much less.

Secondly, there is a severe lag behind in the hardware. You will need to buy a $100 device to be able to use the network. This in itself constitutes a drawback as compared to the 3G package, considering that 3G worked with many simple mobile phone models.

Thirdly, and this is what deceives most, is the 'limited' nature of the package. You still have to count the bytes you use! This has been a serious limitation of 3G, and this made it expensive. Many expected 4G and LTE to come as unlimited services that would allow people to use high speed without having to worry about a threshold not to go beyond. With Verizon's LTE package, you pay $50 for 5GB (meaning you get to download only 5GB of stuff, beyond that, you pay $10 for each additional GB), and $80 for 10 GB. Verizon's site boasts to satisfy those who are in HD movies and other multimedia lovers. How many HD movies can you download in 5GB? Just a few. And in how much time? Just hours, or minutes. But mind you, the package is for a month! What to do with high speed if you are still limited?

Finally, will you be able to make and receive VoIP calls over Verizon's LTE network? Still not sure, given the problems VoIP users had on AT&T's 3G network. One good sign already is that Verizon says you can Skype on it. Let's hope this holds true for other VoIP services and applications as well.

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