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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 6, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Verizon 4G in Seattle shortly, other markets, devices next

Seattle is going to be one of the first cities in the country to get Verizon’s new 4G LTE service later this year, the company announced today.

It’s not too surprising since Verizon’s been testing LTE in the Seattle area.

Verizon is providing details at a CTIA conference today in San Francisco. The company is going to announce six new LTE phones and tablets in January, when it’s chief executive is a keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show.

For months tech blogs have speculated about the iPhone being one of the LTE devices, and the Wall Street Journal weighed in on the rumor today with a story quoting anonymous sources who hear Apple is indeed making an iPhone version for Verizon.

Verizon expects its LTE service will provide average download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second and 2 to 5 Mbps uploads. That’s a bit faster than Sprint-Clearwire’s 4G WiMax service, which is already available and comparable to the HSPA Plus service that T-Mobile USA has rolled out.

The increased network capabilities and competition is good for consumers. What’s bad for consumers is that nearly all of the phones and iPads they bought over the last year or two won’t work on these new networks.

Still unclear is how much more it will cost to buy LTE devices and service.

Verizon is being very specific about where LTE service will be available to start in the Seattle region, suggesting coverage is a work in progress.

From its release:

In the Seattle market, 4G LTE launch coverage will reach from Lynnwood in the north to Fife in the south and from the Seattle Waterfront east to Redmond and Issaquah. Coverage will also extend to the towns of Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Renton, Sammamish, SeaTac, South Everett, Tukwila and Woodinville.

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