4G shootout: Verizon LTE vs. Sprint WiMax

The final piece of the 4G puzzle is cost. Sprint offers the Sierra Wireless AirCard 250U modem for free with a two-year contract, and the company has two monthly 4G mobile broadband plans:

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* The $50/mo. 4G Mobile Broadband Connection Plan offers unlimited data use, but only on Sprint's WiMax network.

* The $60 4G/3G Mobile Broadband Connection Plan offers unlimited 4G network use plus 5GB of data per month on Sprint's 3G network, which is more practical for anyone who travels widely.

There's also an option to pay $10 for 24 hours of unlimited 4G service, a boon for infrequent travelers.

Verizon's LG VL600 modem is $100 with a two-year contract, and the company has two 4G service plans. Fifty dollars a month gets you 5GB of data (regardless of whether you're using the 3G or 4G network), while $80 a month buys 10GB of data; each additional gigabyte costs $10 with both plans.

Verizon doesn't offer a 24-hour plan, as Sprint does, and its monthly 4G plans are much more expensive than Sprint's all-you-can-download plans.

Bottom Line

If you travel for a living, there's no better way to bring the office with you than by using a 4G network. From videoconferencing to downloading large presentations, you'll find your productivity soars with the speedy wireless access 4G brings.

My pick is Verizon's LTE service - if you can get it. It's not available in many places and is more expensive than Sprint's 4G WiMax service, but it's the fastest way I've found to connect on the road.

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer based near New York and is the former editor in chief of Mobile Computing & Communications magazine.

Read more about Wireless Networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.

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