Verizon is rolling out its 4G LTE network to 25 to 30 markets this year and plans on having a full 4G/LTE layover of its 3G data network by 2013. That means if the carrier wants to blanket the entire country with 4G data coverage, it has to get to work with testing now. In April 2010, Verizon did just that and recorded some of its real-life results with user reactions. Unsurprisingly, the customers were shocked that wireless network Internet speeds could be just as fast as home cable or DSL.
Some of the reactions did seem like canned responses: one man said that a download that would normally take 10 minutes would only take 20 seconds on the Verizon LTE network. That seems to be a bit much. But the overall take-away here is that a carrier can throw out numbers like 5-12 Mbps downloads and 2-5 Mbps uploads, and users really won’t care – what they care about is whether it works and if it’s fast enough to be usable.
Carriers are taking speed and latency seriously as they upgrade and overhaul their networks. Sprint is launching the HTC Evo 4G this summer and expanding its WiMax network throughout the year. Verizon will continue its testing with hopes that it will get its LTE network commercially available in 2011. Results have looked promising so far and we’re excited to see the devices and other applications that Verizon’s LTE network will bring.