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Verizon plays the obvious card: its 4G trials are faster than 3G

As the clock ticks down on Verizon's opening salvo of commercial LTE availability, PR noise is growing into a dull roar -- not to say we necessarily mind, considering how desperately we're looking forward to more 4G footprint in the States. Today, the company is reporting that engineers have managed to coax up to 40-50Mbps down and 20-25Mbps up out of its test networks currently deployed in Boston and Seattle -- not what we can expect in a real-world environment where you're on a train surrounded by obstacles and other people trying to use the network, but a pretty nice, round set of numbers nonetheless. In actual usage, they're reporting more down-to-Earth figures of 5-12Mbps down (count on 5) and 2-5Mbps up (count on 2), which still bests EV-DO Rev. A by a healthy margin. Of course, this is just the beginning -- LTE will get better over time -- so this sounds like a nice start.