Verizon Speeds Up LTE Launch

[qi:___wimax] Next year, Verizon (s VZ)  subscribers in a few markets may be surfing the web at warp speed as the carrier said on Tuesday that it would begin deploying LTE next year — a year ahead of schedule. Several vendors had warned me that a U.S. carrier was talking about LTE in 2009. Given that Sprint (s S)  had chosen WiMAX, AT&T (s T) is sticking with HSPA until 2011 or so, and that T-Mobile is just rolling out 3G, Verizon was the likely contender — possibly driven by the desire to get out ahead of WiMAX.

At the Cisco Systems’ C-Scape conference in San Jose, Calif., Dick Lynch, executive VP and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications confirmed the news, saying, “We expect that LTE will actually be in service somewhere here in the U.S. probably this time next year.” Sure, it won’t be widely available right away, and if the economy still sucks, I’m wondering how much they can charge for 4G. Unlimited WiMAX pricing is around $40-50 a month, and their own 3G service costs $60. However, this is still pretty awesome for those of us on the go.