Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network launches Friday?

Sprint may have beaten big ol' Red this time around, but Verizon's not about to let a little friendly rivalry get them down. Rumor has it that the nation's largest CDMA carrier begins rolling out its EV-DO Revision A network this Friday, starting with ten cities (Sacramento and Salt Lake City among them) and a little data card we like to call the Sierra Wireless AirCard 595. Like Sprint's Rev. A launch, Verizon customers lucky enough to get their hands on the requisite equipment should see a substantial improvement in upstream speeds (we're guessing 300-400kbps) with a more incremental boost in the opposite direction. Pricing for the AirCard 595 should start at $150 on a two year agreement, topping out at $270 commitment-free.

[Thanks, htckid]

Update: GigaOM now reports a Verizon official as stating that it already has a handful of markets running EV-DO Revision A as is, and while they intend to launch a Rev. A-capable card in the near future (almost certainly the previously mentioned AirCard 595), it will not be announcing the launch of the network in an official capacity until it takes a significant number of additional markets live. Of course, official announcement or no, customers might be able to take advantage of some turbocharged wireless data in the near term just as soon as that AirCard starts shipping.