While we wait to see what AT&T has up its wireless sleeve locally tomorrow, Verion Wireless is already off to a big start in true 4G.
You'll see T-Mobile and AT&T advertising their current services as 4G. Think of them as a slightly faster 3G variant. They are not what you should think of as 4G. I think AT&T will announce its 4G LTE (long term evolution) plans for Charlotte tomorrow.
Verizon has been going here for a few months and last week announced support for most major cities in the Carolinas.
Recently, I was able to test the 4G LTE network courtesy of one of the company's 4G USB mobile modems, which run $50 to $100 with a two-year contract. And boy is it fast.
I got a consistent 4G connection all over Charlotte and the speed blew me away. I got faster download speeds via this USB than on my Windstream DSL which gives me about 13 Mbps download. With Verizon I got 18 down and about 10 Mbps upload, or five times as fast as my home network.
YouTube HD screamed, streaming anything screamed.
If all you do is email and check a few web pages, I'm not sure 4G is for you, but if you really like to work and send attachments and heavy surf on the move, this is the way to go.
It's night and day versus any 3G modem I've tried.
OK, so what does all this 4G goodness cost you? It's $50 per month for 5 gigs or $80 for 10 gigs. That's a lot of streaming and surfing and downloading. Go past those limits and you pay $10 per gig.
That's the same price Verizon charges for its 3G mobile plans, though it offers a couple cheaper options that aren't available with 4G: $35 for 3 gigs and $20 for one gig.