Verizon will be giving 60 airports nationwide faster wireless data networks. According to Roger Yu, USA Today, Verizon plans to have the faster networks in place by the end of 2010. With the faster speed, the 4G network will allow users to everything a wired network will do.
Verizon to upgrade 60 Airports to 4G Network
Verizon has been working to implement the new network in 38 major cities. Again, the plans are to have these 38 cities online with 4G by the end of the year. Most of the airports scheduled to have the new network, 4G Long Term Evolution, are close to these major cities. The exceptions are Honolulu International and Salt Lake City International, which will have their own coverage.
Verizon Wireless is courting the business traveler. With business travelers using laptops and Smartphones while waiting to board their flights, Verizon is trying to seduce them with faster service. There is a downside to this however. Verizon, as well as competing cell phone service providers, are implementing tiered pricing plans for heavy data users. Many cost-conscious travelers will still use the WiFi offered at most airports, which is usually free or for a small monthly fee. For example Boingo charges subscribers $ 7.95 a month for Wi-Fi connections, and they offer daily and even hourly rates as well. Boingo is available at 685 airports worldwide. I think Verizon will have a tougher time charger higher rates with cheap competition like that.
Verizon plans to install enhancements at the airports. Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson says, Airport buildings are built differently, with lots of underground space. Many require in-building systems. Perhaps this will lead to more home versions of cell signal boosters for those people who live in buildings with similar issues. I am not sure cell boosters would help in the rural areas where coverage is spotty, but since technology is always moving forward, we can hope.
Is 4G really necessary? I have a Droid X with only 3G service. It is sometimes still much faster than my DSL at home. Of course I am not streaming video most of the time, and the Droid X still doesnt have Adobe Flash 10 yet. Once Verizon has the 4G network up, it will still be a long time before it reaches out to touch those of us in the rural areas. This is the price I pay for living in the foothills of the Sierras. We have only had DSL in many areas of our county for about 4 years. In fact, some areas of our county still only have dial-up service. (Time to move I say!) But realistically, using a Verizon broadband air card is doable, although expensive. Verizon charges about $ 65 for the service. Perhaps though with the broadband air card, 4G will make it faster. Now theres a reason to push for 4G!
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