I was looking at a map of the Verizon Wireless coverage area today and noticed that they have Santa Barbara listed as one of the cities slated to have high-speed 4G data coverage this year. On the map below, the red area represents 3G coverage, the green/yellow circles represent existing 4G coverage and the green stars are the few lucky cities scheduled to have 4G coverage in 2011. There is a star on the South Coast specifically labeled “Santa Barbara.”
In real-world tests Verizon 4G offers 8 times the data download speed of Verizon 3G. Verizon 4G modems for laptops are available now and Verizon just launched their first 4G cell phone named “ThunderBolt.” The “gotcha” to all this is that there will be no unlimited data plans offered by Verizon Wireless. That means with 4G you will likely hit the monthly data usage limit faster than with 3G – and start paying extra fees – faster.