Verizon makes LTE network official, December 5th launch

Today, via a press release, Verizon officially unveiled the launch of its next-generation data network. Based on LTE technology, the new network will officially open its doors on December 5th, covering 38-cities and 60 airports around the continental U.S.; Verizon continues to promise nationwide coverage by 2013.

Upon launch, two USB data-sticks — the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 — will be available to consumers. Both devices will be backward compatible with the company’s 3G, EVDO network and will retail for $99.99 with a signed 2-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. Verizon will offer two data plans for its new high-speed network, a $50 monthly plan with a 5GB data allowance or an $80 monthly plan with a 10GB monthly allowance; overages on both plans will be billed at $10 per gigabyte.

Verizon boasts that speeds on the LTE network will range from 5 to 12Mbps on the downlink and 2 to 5Mbps on the uplink. Hit the jump to check out the full press release, which includes a full list of launch cities.

UPDATE: Verizon will address LTE-enable smartphones at CES in Las Vegas this January and street-level coverage maps will be available starting this Sunday.

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