Access to a reliable home internet connection has become vital for many households, and a growing number of cellular providers are responding to that need by introducing residential internet plans.
Cellular internet works by using a router or hotspot to connect to a provider's cellular network, just like your cell phone does. The speed you receive depends on how close you are to a network tower, along with network congestion, how many connected devices you have and other factors. Most of the time, those speeds will be a lot lower than what a faster fiber or cable connection would be capable of -- but if you lack alternatives like that, then a cellular internet setup might be just what you need.
Since many big telecommunication companies offer these plans -- and 5G technology promises to make some of them even better -- let's see how they compare in price, speed and other aspects.
Verizon LTE is intended for households that don't have access to the carrier's other internet services, like Verizon Fios. You'll connect to Verizon's 4G LTE network, with download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds up to 5Mbps. That's roughly on par with DSL speeds, and fast enough for basic web usage, HD streaming and light online gaming. Like the rest of Verizon's home internet offerings, Verizon LTE comes with no data caps.
Pricing for Verizon's LTE service depends on whether you already have cellular service with Verizon or not. If you have a Verizon mobile plan of $30 or more (and if you're enrolled in autopay and paperless billing), then LTE residential internet service will cost you $40 per month. That goes up to $60 per month if you don't have an existing Verizon mobile plan, which places Verizon LTE on par with what cable internet providers charge for service. If providers like that are available in your area, then the odds are good that they can offer you a faster connection for the price than Verizon's LTE network.