First LTE phone from Verizon expected mid-2010

It will be available 3 to 6 months after it rolls out its faster 4G wireless network

Verizon Wireless plans to launch its first LTE-based (Long Term Evolution) wireless phone in mid-2011, three to six months after the carrier rolls out its new LTE 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 chipsets so they work on both LTE and on 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 mid-2010.

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