Chicago part of Verizon’s year-end 4G rollout

By Wailin Wong
Posted Oct. 6, 2010 at 1:53 p.m.

Chicago is one of the 38 cities that will be included in Verizon Wireless’ launch of its 4G network later this year, the operator said Wednesday.

Verizon, which will use a fourth-generation network technology called Long-Term Evolution, said its Chicagoland network will extend from the Wisconsin border, to Tinley Park and Homer Glen to Lake Zurich, Hoffman Estates and Bolingbrook. Lake Michigan will form the network’s eastern border.

Verizon also said O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago will be getting 4G coverage, along with roughly 60 other commercial airports across the country.

Verizon will be the second company to launch a 4G wireless network for local consumers. Clearwire went live in Chicago with its 4G network, which runs on a technology called WiMax, at the end of 2009. Clearwire, Sprint Nextel and Comcast all offer 4G services that use Clearwire’s network but are branded under their respective names.

Speeds for Clearwire’s network are generally 4 to 6 megabits per second, compared with 800 kilobits to 1.2 megabits for typical 3G speeds, a Sprint executive told the Tribune in August. Verizon said Wednesday it expects the average data rates for its network to come in between 5 and 12 megabits per second.

AT&T is planning to launch its 4G network next year.

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