It appears that Verizon hasn’t hopped to its LTE plans as quickly as expected. The company originally planned to have 4G networks deployed in multiple markets during the first half of this year, but that is now pushed back a little. We’ll still see them flip the switch before the 2010 in all likelihood, but we’ll also see another carrier beat them to the punch. That would be MetroPCS. It might seem like an odd situation, but the nation’s No. 5 primary wireless carrier has pursued LTE aggressively, and still plans to roll it out in the second half of this year.
The roll-out will begin in Las Vegas and then move to other “selected metropolitan areas,” according to CEO Roger Lindquist. Of course, the company will need devices to go along with it. Those will include the Samsung r900, which will pick up both LTE and CDMA frequencies. We could see even more Samsung devices that contain LTE technology, and perhaps even see others on Verizon.
The big wonder is of how this will affect Metro’s cost structure. How much will the r900 cost? Will the monthly plan cost more? Metro still undersells the major carriers in terms of price per feature, so they might have some wiggle room with the new network. Still, they have costs to cover, too, so I’d be surprised to see them offer any LTE plans for under $50.
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