Verizon's 4G network coming to Charleston (update: here Thursday)

Image by Flickr user forklift

Update July 19: Six months on, Verizon is launching their Charleston 4G service on Thursday, July 21.

The company says it will be available to customers, "in the following cities and towns: Charleston, Folly Beach, Goose Creek, Hanahan, Hickory Hill Plantation, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, Ladson, Lincolnville, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Riverland Terrace, Seabrook Island, Sullivan's Island, Summerville, and Wildwood."

If you're listed, congrats, if not, hold that cell phone up just a little bit higher.

More details on their coming below — and do know that you'll need a 4G equipped device to use the service.

First reporting January 8: It's perhaps not much of a surprise but it looks like Verizon will be the first company to bring the next generation wireless data connectivity technology 4G to Charleston. 

The move comes as the company looks to expand the technology to 140 new markets in 2011, but there's no word on just yet when exactly they'll launch in the Charleston area. But don't forget that to fully use this new tech you'll need a 4G capable device, and they're just coming out.

Also on the South Carolina radar for 4G is Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Hilton Head. Sorry Myrtle Beach, no love yet.

Tony Melone, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon, said, "We will aggressively continue launching 4G LTE markets over the next 36 months. We'll cover two-thirds of the U.S. population in the next 18 months, and by the end of 2013 we'll offer our 4G LTE network from coast to coast – everywhere that we offer 3G today. In order to get there, we'll add more than 140 markets in 2011, including Detroit, Raleigh-Durham, Memphis, Milwaukee, Honolulu, Boise, Mobile, Little Rock,Sioux Falls and Salt Lake City."

About '4G'

The cellular broadcast technology is effectively three to four times (and some say as much as ten times) as fast as the prevailing 3G technology and is generally more modern allowing for more advanced Internet-based talking and general communication services.

The Denver Post has a nice breakdown you can read here and you can get a good speed demo here.

We'll keep you updated on other local cell phone tech news as we hear it.

A hat tip to the Charleston Regional Business Journal for spotting this first.