Dec. 8, 2010 11:00 am

Verizon launches high-speed 4G LTE network in Philadelphia

On Sunday, a new entrant to the next-generation 4G wireless market emerged in Philadelphia. Verizon Wireless announced in a press release that it has launched its Long Term Evolution network in the region, one of 38 major metropolitan launches. The service offers Verizon users average download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of […]

On Sunday, a new entrant to the next-generation 4G wireless market emerged in Philadelphia.

Verizon Wireless announced in a press release that it has launched its Long Term Evolution network in the region, one of 38 major metropolitan launches. The service offers Verizon users average download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5Mbps with compatible devices.

The anticipated launch is years in the making, and as we’ve noted many times before, it’s a crowded market.

Sprint, Clear and Comcast all offer similar high-speed 4G offerings on the Clearwire white-labeled WiMAX network. We reviewed Sprint’s service in May, which should give consumers a snapshot of service offered by the three carriers.

Clearwire launched its 4G network last October, as we reported.

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Brian James Kirk

Brian James Kirk is a cofounder of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Kirk handles business development, marketing and product development, forging new partnerships, building brand identity and coordinating events and projects. He's an avid biker and lives in the Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia.

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  • Peter

    Now get me VZW iPhone we’ll have a real competition!

  • http://pro.robspages.net Rob Allen

    It should be noted that the Verizon network uses the “Long Term Evolution” standard (hence the LTE in the 4g materials) and it is unrelated to the WiMAX standard used by Clearwire networks. The Verizon version has a top speed of 12 mbps versus 40 mbps for WiMAX.

    (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131728105)

    • http://www.phonescoop.com Rich

      You’re comparing apples and oranges. Don’t confuse real-world average numbers with theoretical maximums that are only achievable in an isolated lab with tower antenna five feet away, pointed at you.

      If you want to talk theoretical top speeds, LTE can do 50 or 70 mbps (depending on who you talk to) compared to WiMAX’s 40.

      But back to the real world: Sprint’s advertised real-world speeds that customers should expect are 3-6 mbps, while Verizon’s are 5-12 mbps, or about twice as fast.

  • Philly Dutch

    It should also be noted that Verizon’s adoption of LTE is different from WiMAX. WiMAX has more problems penetrating into buildings. This has been a significant disadvantage for WiMAX.

    LTE is supposed to carry a stronger signal that better penetrates buildings.

    • http://www.phonescoop.com Rich

      Actually, better building penetration has nothing to do with the technology and everything to do with the radio frequency band being used. Sprint chose to deploy WiMAX in the 2.5 GHz band, which has relatively poor building penetration. Verizon is using the 700 MHz band for its LTE network, which penetrates buildings easily.

      It’s worth nothing that neither company had much choice. They’re each using the only radio bands the FCC made available at the time they decided they needed to buy radio spectrum licenses. So Sprint didn’t exactly make a bad choice here, Verizon just lucked out. Also note that there are some dis-advantages to the 700 Mhz band.

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