Nov 18 AT 1:39 AM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

First Verizon 4G handset in February, delivering faster data speeds at premium prices

Verizon is ready to start promoting their 4G LTE network this year, but the nation’s largest carrier is not planning on releasing a 4G handset till “1H 2011″. We didn’t think that would happen will Q2 2011, but new comments from their CEO suggest that schedule has been moved up.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg said that he expects their first 4G LTE handset will come out in February and there will be more 4G devices in the market than originally expected.

We don’t know which handset will be Verizon’s first 4G LTE phone, but the best candidate is the HTC Mecha which has been spied during 4G testing. Other possible 4G phones on Verizon could eventually include the LG Star and the Motorola Olympus.

When their first 4G handset launches, Verizon might decide to offer several tiers of data plans based on actual speeds in addition to consumption. Verizon expects their 4G LTE network to offer real world speeds of 1-12 Mbps, so you could see some plans that only go up to 6 Mbps and others that max out at 12 Mbps.

“If you want to pay for less speed, you’ll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less,” Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

What do you think about the possibility of paying more for faster data speeds? Most of the cable companies already do it, so why shouldn’t the carriers too? Which phone do you think will be Verizon’s first 4G LTE handset?

Source: WSJ

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Andrew D.

    1-12 Megs seems very very broad,

    • elijahblake

      I almost said why do we need phones running this fast, then I thought well tethering to a laptop or computer would work better. Then I thought, so now they’re going to charge more for tethering AND charge more for faster speeds… I guess next they’ll be charging people more to STAY with 3G..

    • http://Website dmac

      1-12 mbps is not correct. The writer of this article has wrong info. Verizon has always said 5-15 mbps down and 2-5 up REAL WORLD. Which is faster than even T-Mobile theoretical 21mb. Sorry boys…T-Mobile will never actually see 21mb until ltd comes. Besides…verizon will be capping speeds at 15mb but it can open it up later if bandwith is not an issue because the launch TEC can actually do 20-60mbps. But how would I know ;-)

  • gamefreak1218

    “If you want to pay for less speed, you’ll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less,”

    What does this mean exactly??

    • http://Website Zach

      It means verizon is screwing you over

    • http://Website johnny b

      Lol!!! Are we sure Steve jobs didn’t say that?? What I don’t get is data is data … 16mb is 16mb whether the transfer rate is 1mbs or 10mbs. That’s gotta be the stupidest tiering plan I’ve ever heard. I understand if you want 4g its gonna cost more but just ad a certain price. And say I bought a 12mbs plan, how can I guarantee i will always have 12mbs speed. Sounds like a scam and a half to me. Just saying.

      • DistortedLoop

        “16mb is 16mb whether the transfer rate is 1mbs or 10mbs”

        Is it? I’m not sure about that. If you think of data as water flowing down a pipe with multiple taps on it, only so much water can flow through the pipe at once. If 10 people have a tap on the pipe, and all of them open the tap to full at the same time, none of them will get good water pressure.

        If one of the people has their tap open to full all the time, others on the pipe network will get poor flow.

        In the analogy above, water is data, the pipe is the cellular data signal, the taps are the cell phones.

        Someone using 16mb data at 1mbs flow is like someone turning on the water tap just a crack, someone using 16mb data 10mbs has the tap full open.

        The data caps and throttling are unfortunate, but necessary side effects of not having fat enough pipes on the cellular data network.

        I’m not arguing that caps are good, and I hate the false advertising of “unlimited data” that most have, but it’s clear the caps on the AMOUNT of data you use are intended to get you to use less data in short time periods (you won’t pull that 2gig movie off the torrents if it means you can’t use data the rest of the month).

        I think it’s criminal in the US how poorly, compared to profits, the wireless providers have upgraded/maintained their data networks.

        Hope I explained that well.

        • http://Website johnny b

          Good analogy. But in the end your still getting 16mb of data whether how fast u get there is what I meant. But either way there seems to be minor bugs to work out. But what I’m thinking is, say I pay extra for 4g and im limited to 2gb transfer. What happens if I never come in contact with 4g coverage? It might be a stupid question but I would be happy with faster 3g lol.

  • PhineasJW

    Unless you’re tethering your phone to play an MMO or torrent the entire Beatles collection, you’d never notice the difference between 6M and 12M. Web pages will still take 20+ seconds to load due to the rendering power of the CPU.

    Good luck Verizon. I don’t get it.

    • http://Website hoosiercub

      Umm.. well for the record, I currently tether my phone to my laptop on the road to play WoW, that uses minimal amounts of data, and the latency with the EVDO in a good-great coverage area is well under 200ms which is perfectly acceptible.

      It seems as if you’ve not been paying attention also, I don’t know if you realize this but phones are actually getting faster too, so processing power isn’t an issue, it currently isn’t and I don’t wait “20 seconds” to load any page, including full flash pages, and if I’m connected to Wifi its even faster. Unless you’re rocking an old G1 or an LG Ally or some low/mid ranged phone. Processing power shouldn’t be an issue.

    • http://Website dmac

      Very simple. Unlimited data on 3g (especially if you don’t have 4g in you market…..sprint) for$ 30. Maybe$ 30 for 4gig but 4g…something like that. That is what he is talking about. You pay more for the higher speeds and you pick the amount…or if you don’t have or want 4g…just take the unlimited for$ 30 or$ 15 for 150mb. Glad I could clear all that up for you. :-)

  • http://Website Evo2droidx

    Wow, why shouldn’t the carriers do it to? Really? Is 4G like oil? Are we at peak bandwidth? I understand that corporate america wants us to value faster mobile data to the point of selling our house but at what point does mobile communication get too expensive. middle class americans are the ones paying the largest sum, and middle class america does not have a whole lot of resources to pull from when EVERYONE is pulling our resources from us. Food, clothing, and fuel have us broke. I don’t know about the rest of u but my mobile internet is my guilty pleasure, I splurge for it. When it gets too high priced I will drop it, sadly. Verizon is already among the most expensive but in my area the best. I would rather pay for sprint right now. I am nut going to pay more to use less faster! A lot of people are plain stupid and will, unknowingly and I honestly think that is why prices, especially wireless have grown and continue to grow. I agree that we ned to pay for service but damn

  • http://Website DK

    Unlike Verizon FIOS, I highly doubt these plans will be truly unlimited if we have to pay such a “premium” price for the fast speeds when its the same price as regular cable/fios.

  • http://Website Good_ole_pinocchio

    Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and CFO Fran Shammo commented today that the company’s shiny new LTE network could support charging different rates depending on the speed subscribers select — just like in the landline internet business — “though they wouldn’t commit to implementing such a system just yet.” – Engadget excerpt.

    Seems like that’s just an idea for now, and wouldn’t be implemented any time soon. At ant rate its a stupid idea. Something like that could only be based on finding a way to overcharge customers, which is Verizon’s specialty.

  • http://Website PSH

    So with my internet I pay X for 50 MBS and unlimited download if I go with a lower tier say 10 MBS I pay less than X same truly unlimited download. If the way they want to go is the way of the cable services, then no cap should be allowed for the download or upload quantity.
    You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    And as more of the tablets, pads and faster cpu phones arive we will be taking advantage of the speeds. They know this and and want to get a head start in getting us used to being screwed in this way. We are already paying more than any other carrier out today.

  • Genjinaro

    Glad I am with Sprint, I get 12Mbps down on WiMax 4G in PA. Verizon’s pricing will most likely be an unessasary headache

    The only thing I’d like to see on Sprint now is the 1Mbps upload cap to go but if its keeping things cheap, I can deal.

  • http://Website Pax

    My question is: How much speed does one really need on a cell phone and what will that be used and good for? Just give me what you offer now, and I am all okay with that!!!

    • http://Website Genjinaro

      On the phone 5-7Mbps will do you justice, app installs, phone browser simple email, networking etc.. My phone does 12Mbps but even on my home Wifi that does 20Mbps, general operation seems the same. Its about as valuable as benchmark numbers.


      Higher speeds shine brightest when you’re tethering though. It is the only time I really care about the EVO pumping out 12Mbps.

  • http://Website hoosiercub

    In all reality, I see 4G LTE on VZW being treated like WiMAX is on Sprint, there will probably be a $10 fee or so for those lines with devices capable of using the LTE network, whether they’re in a service area or not. The only difference is, with Verizon, you eventually will be in the service area, unlike Sprint :)

  • http://Website J.

    Didn’t I already pay a premium for faster data speeds when I bought a 4G-capable phone?
    Yeah, I sure did.
    Verizon can F#@k right off if they think I’m going to be willingly double-dipped.

    This all just needs to STOP.
    Right now.

    A couple of things that *need* to immediately become part of the debate:
    1. Carriers don’t own the spectrum – You do. The licence to broadcast in any given spectrum within the US is granted by the FCC to the broadcast operator. The FCC is the gov’t. The Gov’t is YOU.
    2. The Cellular companies do own the infrastructure that carries the broadcast, and they deserve to be compensated for use of that equipment.
    3. All 4 major carriers in the US are still producing profits.

    As such, they should get to charge for use of their equipment, And they should even be able to set reasonable limits on how that equipment is used…but capping AND speed throttling is NOT a reasonable limit. The speed limit is determined by the device we access their network with, and I’ve already made my choice when it comes to speed based on the unit I’ve chosen. Tethering restrictions are not a reasonable limit, because what I do with the data I collected over their network is none of their damn business. I used an approved device to connect to their network. Anything beyond that is superfluous to the agreement. Pay-For-Play speed determinations at the server side are not a reasonable limit. Verizon shouldn’t get to serve up Fox News or MSNBC faster because couldn’t pay their “access fees”. We all paid to make the internet a reality (remember – DARPA is funded with Gov’t dollars).

    Anything – *ANYTHING* that gives the carriers more control over delivery of content should be opposed at all times, and at all costs. When your plan expires, don’t sign a new contract. When you want a new phone, buy it outright. DON’T SUBSIDIZE! When you go to a new provider, NO CONTRACTS! Only go where you can PAYGO or month-to-month.

    Seriously, people. There is only one acceptable answer: DUMB PIPE. That’s all you want them for. And believe me, their investors (maybe even you) will still make plenty of money. They may not make record profits year-over-year, because the only way to sustain a dumb pipe model is to constantly improve throughput (i.e. improve the network. Funny how that benefits YOU!), but there will still be plenty of money to be made.

    The only way we’re EVER going to get to the dumb pipe model is if we as consumers and customers STOP ALLOWING CRAP LIKE THIS – Don’t buy it. Don’t pay for it. And break the subsidy addiction. Carrier subsidies were a great way to encourage adoption, but now that 98% of Americans between 17 and 25 “own” cell phones, adoption is no longer a viable model.

    Say it loud, say it proud: DUMB PIPE OR NOTHING!

    • http://Website Qverse

      Ok OK I get it…i get it i get…clam down . take a deep breath..
      1. Carriers don’t own the spectrum – YES THEY DO
      2. The licence to broadcast in any given spectrum within the US is granted by the FCC to the broadcast operator. – and we can’t do SH!T about it the carriers controlling it all like @pple and M!crosp0rt…come on ..In this real world it it takes YEARS re-design ones thinking, and, for some never. I too am taken into this subsidy addiction. Carrier subsidies were a great way to encourage adoption, but now that 98% of Americans between 17 and 25 “own” cell phones, adoption is no longer a viable model. If you don’t know what carrier subsidies are, then I’ll explain. Mobile phone carriers offer phones that usually cost $100 to $600, but they always offer a 2 year contract price. Basically, the carrier pays the manufacturer of the phone the majority of the price and you only pay a small fraction. The carriers do this because they have you locked into a contract and they will end up breaking even.
      @pple doesn’t rely on carrier subsidies to make it cheaper for people and you pay…Yes dreams my friend….we all plug on that pipe dream…dude.

  • http://Website leo

    wecome to verizon where we rule your wallets

  • Total telecom consulting

    we honestly feel that wireless providers are already over charging for wireless data access. 4g should simply be a part of the natural evolution of wireless data networks. If these expenses continue to climb they will soon match that of traditional internet connections ie fios or cable. And while speed capabilities are increasing capacity is still the largest underlying issue!

  • MC

    I don’t get it. Verizon’s already advertising they have the fastest, “4G” (quotes intended) network, yet they don’t have a single product that can utilize it! The first item is a USB stick that won’t be available until sometime around Christmas and now we have THIS phone – available sometime in the first half of 2011?

    What’s the point of advertising a capability you DON’T have … oh, yeah … forgot about the Chevrolet Volt that’s been advertised and not available for about three years ….

    Guess this is a new advertising archetype or something-else-totally-Jungian-but-it’s-so-Kafka-esque

    • http://Website dmac

      Did you read the article. All these leaks about vzws 4g is what they are about to start advertising once they flip the switch. It has already been rolled out to 38 cities and 1/3 of the us population. Not sure of the math but I am pretty sure that is more of the population than sprint has now. I know sprint has more cities but sprint is just starting to hit the big ones…at least vzw went at most of the big cities first. Its actually a more aggressive rollout than people give them credit because they are hitting the biggest cities first.

      • MC

        Question remains: how is a person interested in, “4G” (quotes intended) smartphone capabilities supposed to make an intelligent decision when one of the four carriers advertising said capability (Sprint/Clearwire, metroPCS, T-Mo, and Verizon) advertises, “fastest” and, “largest,” yet has NO PRODUCTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE to support the claims?

        Similar: I’m sure the Chevy Volt – still not available despite being advertised for YEARS, including one re-design (!) is a very fine automobile. Maybe even, “ground breaking.” But there are readily available alternatives and if I’m in the market, I’ll be signing a contract for ANOTHER product as it’s of the utmost importance to me that the product be available when I happen to need it.