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We can hear you now: Verizon's 4G data coverage expected to come to Fargo by the end of the year

Fargo is in line to get Verizon's speedy next-generation data coverage by the end of this year, The Forum has learned. The company is expected to announce Tuesday more than 100 new markets that will get its 4G LTE coverage this year. Fargo will b...

Fargo is in line to get Verizon's speedy next-generation data coverage by the end of this year, The Forum has learned.

The company is expected to announce Tuesday more than 100 new markets that will get its 4G LTE coverage this year. Fargo will be included in that announcement, said a company spokeswoman who asked not to be named because the announcement has not yet been made.

The company first rolled out 4G coverage in 38 large markets, including the Twin Cities, in December. The company says the technology is 10 times faster than its older 3G network, capable of moving large files like photos and music in a few seconds. Tests and reviews from cities with 4G coverage have indicated download and upload speeds that rival wired broadband connections.

Verizon announced plans to expand 4G to an additional 40 markets - including Sioux Falls, S.D. - in January. The company says its 4G network will cover all of the areas that currently have its 3G coverage by 2013.

The company currently has four dedicated 4G devices: A smart phone, two modems, and a tablet. More will be released this year.

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One wrinkle of note: Verizon's iPhone model launched earlier this year is a 3G device, meaning it won't take advantage of the faster network. Customers who want to surf at 4G speeds will have to pick another phone or wait until a 4G-capable iPhone is unveiled.

It's not yet clear when in 2011 Verizon will implement 4G here. The spokeswoman said more information on coverage would be released as the launch approaches.

The news comes on the same day as news of a planned merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which would create the nation's largest cell phone carrier. AT&T, which is already in the process of merging with Alltel to establish a presence in North Dakota, says the move will increase its own 4G capabilities. The proposed T-Mobile merger must still clear regulatory hurdles, and T-Mobile does not yet offer 4G coverage in the Dakotas.

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