Verizon Wireless announced today it will launch its 4G LTE network in the Fresno area on June 16 -- the latest development in a flurry of activity by wireless carriers to increase Internet access speeds for smartphones, laptop and tablet computers and other mobile devices.
The service will be available to Verizon customers in downtown Fresno, north Fresno, Clovis and surrounding residential areas.
The term 4G refers to the "fourth generation" of wireless technology, while LTE stands for "Long Term Evolution." For people who own 4G-compatible devices, Verizon said its customers can expect average data download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second -- up to 10 times faster than Verizon's existing 3G network.
Verizon introduced its 4G efforts in December with plans to have the service in place in 150 U.S. cities by the end of 2011.
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AT&T announced last month it is upgrading its Fresno area network to 4G, and T-Mobile also offers what it calls 4G in the area. Sprint's 4G network isn't available in Fresno, but is in other parts of the Valley.