By the end of this year, gadgets in two American cities will be able to hook up to Verizon's 80 Mbps LTE cellular network, followed by 25-30 more in 2010. For once, U.S. consumers will get to ride the bandwidth bus first: Compatible European networks aren't planning to offer LTE for a year or two.
This is the plan, at least. From Computerworld:
The LTE network will be built using equipment from Alcatel-Lucent and LM Ericsson Telephone Co., according to Verizon Wireless, which said in December that it expected to begin deploying the fourth-generation wireless technology before the end of this year.
Trial runs of LTE conducted by Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and with part-owner Vodafone Group PLC in Europe have shown download speeds of up to 80Mbit/sec., according to Dick Lynch, executive vice president and chief technology officer at majority owner Verizon Communications Inc.
In practice, throughput on live networks will be much lower. Moreover, availability will only come when they have built it: a dictum that applies not just to tower upgrades, but to cellphones, modems and laptops that feature compatible radios.
The AP and other stories aren't specifying which cities -- anyone know?
WiMax, lest we forget, is another 4G show that rolled out to two cities in advance of a nationwide expansion, but has fallen just a little behind schedule.