New Orleans 1 of 38 chosen for Verizon's 4G LTE

By December 2, 2010Droid, Verizon

 Verizon wireless will unveil Sunday new technology it calls an “industry game changer.”

“It’s going to be about 10 times faster than current 3G technology,” said Bob Swanz, Verizon data account manager.

Swanz said Verizon’s 4G technology debuts in the form of a faster, more powerful network accessed by a new air card in 38 markets across the country, including New Orleans. Verizon plans to add markets over the next three years until the service blankets the country.

He said 4G merely means “fourth generation.” In other words, Verizon has entered the next technological level. The key for consumers is where a provider sits on the 4G spectrum. Consumers need to ask what a provider’s 4G service really does for them.

“Hop on a plane today and take a 10-hour flight. Sunday, when we make this service available, you get on that same plane with this new technology and that same flight is going to take one hour,” Swanz said.

A test of Verizon’s 4G network showed that downloads were 21 megabits per second, while uploads were 18 megabits per second.

“That’s an industry changer,” Swanz said. “If you’re in business or for fun you want to video conference that’s an option today with this technology where it wasn’t an option before.”

And even though Verizon has limited the service to Tampa for now, Swanz said the system also works with 3G. “It speaks to both and it’s able to move between the two seamlessly.”

The 4G air card costs $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. The 4G service costs $50 a month. Consumers who purchase the new card and network must also sign a new contract.