Verizon brings 4G to Bainbridge

Published 3:15 pm Thursday, September 20, 2012

HIGH-SPEED 4G IS NOW LIVE: Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce members gathered at the Bainbridge Verizon store to celebrate the launch of Verizon’s high-speed, 4G LTE mobile data network in the local area. Verizon store employees pictured include Katrina Boger, Shelley Perkins-White, Vallaree Blake, Jewante Chrispen, Brian Calhoun, Store Manager Paul Bridges, Michael Sheffield and Michelle Williford.

Local business leaders gathered at the Verizon store on Tallahassee Highway on Thursday morning, to celebrate the launch of Verizon’s high-speed, 4G LTE mobile data network in the Bainbridge area.

Verizon Store Manager Paul Bridges “cut the wire” on the new technology, which enables faster data uploads and downloads for cell phones and tablet computers that run on the company’s network.

4G LTE stands for “Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution,” what Verizon calls its latest network technology. Some other wireless companies’ networks have “4G” data speeds, but Verizon’s is the first to operate in Bainbridge.

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Verizon started rolling out its 4G LTE network in December 2010, Bridges said. Bainbridge joins other area cities that also have 4G network access, including Tallahassee, Fla., and Dothan, Ala. Most suburban areas in the United States have 3G networks, while more rural areas have only 1X or 2G technolgies. The functionality of almost all “smartphones,” including desktop-like Web browsing and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, depends on 3G/4G connections.

Bridges highlighted the benefits of 4G for business users, including the ability to send files to and from a colleague or client at speeds that he said are roughly 10 times faster than 3G data speeds.

Charles Tyson, a retired city manager who is now a Realtor and the Chamber of Commerce board chairman, said he resisted cell phones when they first became available, but he can’t imagine living without one now.

“It’s exciting how quickly mobile technology is changing, and we’re glad to be a part of Verizon expanding its network to serve business people and citizens alike,” Tyson said.

To be able to take advantage of the 4G speeds, customers need to have phones, tablets or wireless hotspots that can connect to the 4G network. Verizon introduced 4G phones beginning in 2011, and has a range of phones and tablets that can connect to both 3G and 4G, where available.

For example, the older iPhones, including the iPhone 4S released last year, can only connect to 3G, but not 4G. Bridges said his store’s staff is excited to begin selling the iPhone 5, which is equipped with 4G functionality, on Friday, Sept. 21.