Hear that, kids? Tony Melone -- Verizon Wireless' Senior VP and CTO -- confirmed to us during a one-on-one meeting after the company's CTIA
roundtable discussion that every last one
of its data-only LTE WWAN devices
(aircards, MiFi-type products and USB data sticks, for example) would also
support 3G. Not too surprising given the natural ties between the two technologies, but it's still refreshing to hear that every 4G data-only product that launches (at least initially) on VZW will also be able to hop onto the company's 3G network if you just so happen to break away from an LTE area. Can't say that for a smattering of existing
WiMAX products. In related news, Tony also affirmed that Verizon would be "interested" in getting a smartphone on its LTE network that could double as a mobile hotspot, exactly how the Palm Pre Plus does now
(but on 3G, obviously). As for pricing when it comes to LTE
data rates? Tony wouldn't give us any indication of the carrier's plans, but if it's anything similar to whispers
we've heard in the past (not to mention rates already seen through Clearwire
), it'll probably be at least marginally more expensive than what you're paying today for third-generation access.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.