Verizon Wireless announced it is turning on its 4G LTE network on Sunday, Dec. 5. The company expects 4G LTE average data rates in real-world, loaded network environments to be 5-12 Mbps on the downlink and 2-5 Mbps on the uplink.

Verizon Wireless customers can choose from two 4G LTE Mobile Broadband data plans: $50 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance or $80 monthly access for 10 GB monthly allowance, both with $10/GB overage. For laptop connectivity, two 4G LTE USB modems will be initially available: the LG VL600 is available at launch and the Pantech UML290 will be available soon, each $99.99 after $50 rebate with a new two-year agreement. Both USB modems provide backward-compatibility with Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. If laptop users travel outside of a 4G LTE coverage area, they will automatically stay connected on the company’s 3G network.

The two modems harness the power of the company’s 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network to help enterprise, business and government customers. Verizon expects consumer-oriented handsets will be available by mid-2011.

Verizon Wireless’ primary 4G LTE network vendors, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, are providing the underlying infrastructure for the 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network.

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network is initially launching in 38 major metropolitan areas and in more than 60 commercial airports coast to coast – at both airports within the launch areas plus airports in other key cities.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Initial Major Metropolitan Area Deployment (Dec. 5, 2010): ?Akron, Ohio; ?Athens, Georgia; ?Atlanta, Georgia; ?Baltimore, Maryland; ?Boston, Massachusetts; ?Charlotte, North Carolina; ?Chicago, Illinois; ?Cincinnati, Ohio; ?Cleveland, Ohio; ?Columbus, Ohio; ?Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Dallas, Texas; ?Denver, Colorado; ?Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; ?Houston, Texas; ?Jacksonville, Florida; ?Las Vegas, Nevada; ?Los Angeles, California; ?Miami, Florida; ?Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota; ?Nashville, Tennessee; ?New Orleans, Louisiana; ?New York, New York; ?Oakland, California; ?Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; ?Orlando, Florida; ?Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; ?Phoenix, Arizona; ?Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; ?Rochester, New York; ?San Antonio, Texas; ?San Diego, California; ?San Francisco, California; ?San Jose, California; ?Seattle/Tacoma, Washington; ?St. Louis, Missouri; ?Tampa, Florida; ?Washington, D.C.; ?West Lafayette, Indiana; ?West Palm Beach, Florida.

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