First LTE phone from Verizon expected mid-2011

That's 3 to 6 months after it rolls out its faster 4G wireless network

Verizon Wireless plans to launch its first LTE-based wireless phone in mid-2011, three to six months after the carrier rolls out its new Long Term Evolution network, according to a report.

Verizon has said it will have 25 to 30 U.S. markets on the faster LTE service by the end of 2010. Anthony Melone, chief technology officer at Verizon, told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that the first LTE phones will have two radio chip sets so they work on both LTE and existing networks based on CDMA technology.

Before the LTE phone launches, LTE data cards used with laptops will appear, similar to the way WiMax data cards for laptops have surfaced on the WiMax network from Clearwire and Sprint Nextel. Sprint is working on a WiMax phone, and one is widely expected to launch in mid-2010.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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