Like many mobile broadband users, we have been eagerly awaiting the launch of Verizon's 4G LTE network since it was first announced several months ago. The service launched in 38 U.S. cities this weekend, with two dual-mode 3G/4G USB modems to choose from and two 3G/4G service plan options. As soon as Verizon's LTE network went live on December 5th we quickly got our hands on both the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 modems and began our testing!
Below are some highlights about Verizon's new service and devices, along with our initial test results:
How Fast is It? Verizon is advertising that their 4G service is capable of speeds of 5-12Mbps. In our tests in the Chicago area, we consistently saw download speeds of around 10.7Mbps and upload speeds ranging from 5 to over 15 Mbps!
Coverage: Verizon's 4G network is currently available in 38 cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, San Diego, and more. You can check coverage by address with our 3G/4G Coverage Tool - just select the "Verizon" tab and enter your address; 4G coverage is represented in dark red, 3G coverage is lighter red. You are also welcome to email sales "at" 3Gstore.com with your full address and we will be happy to check coverage for you.
Service Plans: Verizon is offering 2 service plan options for their 3G/4G devices: a 5GB plan for $50/month, or 10GB for $80/month. Both plans are subject to overage charges of $10/GB once the monthly allowance is used. Not sure how much 5GB or 10GB really is? Check out these articles: What Does 5GB Get Me? and What Does 10GB Get Me?
The Devices: Both the LG VL600 (left) and Pantech UML290 (right) are dual-mode devices, meaning they work on the new 4G network as well as the 3G EVDO Rev-A network. Both devices are $99.99 after rebate with a new 2-year contract (or eligible upgrade).
Neither device is Mac-compatible, unfortunately. We will continue to test and experiment to see if we can find a way to get either device to work with a Mac computer, but for now they only work with Windows computers.
Router Compatibility: At launch, there are no routers available that support either the LG VL600 or the Pantech UML290, but Cradlepoint is planning to add support for these new devices to their routers in early 2011. Router support will obviously allow users to share their connection with multiple computers, and it will also give Mac users a way to get their computers online with Verizon 4G! If you'd like to be notified when router support for Verizon's LTE devices is available, sign up here: 3Gstore LTE Router Notification.
Antenna Compatibility: the UML290 features two antenna ports, although only the 3G port can be used right now (until a manufacturer makes an antenna that works on the LTE frequency). Both ports are located on the back of the modem under flip-up rubber plugs, but luckily it's very easy to determine which one is the 3G port - the 3G antenna port is on the left side, and the rubber plug that covers it has a little symbol of a satellite on it (the plug that covers the 4G port doesn't have any symbols on it).
Our technicians are continuing to test both the VL600 and UML290 in a variety of Verizon 4G coverage areas. Stay tuned for further test results as well as router and antenna compatibility updates in the coming weeks!
Order your LG VL600 or UML290 from 3Gstore for $99.99 after rebate - plus receive a $20 discount on any router or antenna on a future order*!*routers and antennas for the VL600 and UML290 are not available at launch, but customers signing up for 2-year service through 3Gstore will be eligible for a $20 discount on an antenna and router when they become available.