How many dedicated LTE
-capable USB modems does Verizon need? At least three, apparently, because we've just been sent shots of Novatel's upcoming USB551L that looks perhaps a tad glossier and sleeker than the Pantech and LG models that have preceded it
. Hard to say from the spec sheet here, but it looks like there's at least a chance this is LTE-only without CDMA / EV-DO fallback since there's no explicit mention of it; unlikely considering how small Verizon's LTE footprint is for the time being, but you never know. More importantly, there is explicit mention of Mac support, something the carrier's current options lack. No word on a release date or pricing, but we imagine it won't be long now that these dummy units -- which you can see in the gallery below -- are floating around.
We've been able to confirm that it definitely supports both EV-DO and 1xRTT in addition to LTE, so fear not, road warriors -- when you leave your LTE comfort zone, you'll still be covered. Thanks, NKT!
Novatel's USB551L LTE modem for Verizon in the wild, does Mac support out of the box
*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.