After we'd scooped early details on the project in 2010
, Verizon earlier this month officially unveiled
their new "HomeFusion" fixed residential LTE service. Offering 5 to 12 megabits per second on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink, Home Fusion will come in $60 (10 GB cap), $90 (20 GB cap) and $120 (30 GB plan) flavors. Each tier comes with a whopping $10 per gigabyte overage penalty -- something that's not going to place very nice with HD Netflix happy households.
Verizon initially announced that the service would first appear in Birmingham, Dallas and Nashville, but today noted
it's now live in Terre Haute, Birmingham, Alabama, El Cajon, California, Nashville, Tennessee, Dallas, Texas and Roanoke, Virginia.
Verizon's announcement also notes that customers who sign up for Home Fusion will receive double their usual data allotment for the first two months "as they settle into using HomeFusion Broadband." Verizon pretty wisely doesn't want early product impressions focused on the second mortgage you may have to take out to pay your bandwidth bill.
Verizon states they're working with Asurion for installs, and that subscribers will have to pay a $200 one-time equipment fee. The press release gives a little more detail on the in-home setup and the "cantenna" which will be affixed to users' homes:
Verizon Wireless’ high-speed 4G LTE network is delivered to a cylinder-shaped antenna which transmits the signal to an in-home broadband router. The antenna is professionally installed outside a customer’s residence and is equal in size to a five-gallon paint bucket. The device delivers Verizon’s 4G LTE signal to the broadband router and allows the customer to connect up to four wired and at least 20 wireless devices in the household.
While it hasn't seen much mainstream press attention, this is a fairly massive play for Verizon, who we've noted for several years has been planning to use LTE for their real national power play
for some time. While the service likely won't pose a competitive threat to cable, it will pose a massive competitive threat to satellite broadband (which suffers from slow speeds, low daily usage caps and high prices) and rural DSL, which for many users remains stuck at between 1.5 and 3 Mbps downstream.
Factor in Verizon's partnership with cable
and their streaming video partnership with RedBox
and you may start to understand the kind of nationwide brand powerplay Verizon's been quietly working on the last several years.