As Sprint continues slowly rolling out their WiMAX coverage across the country, we're all anxiously waiting to see when the other major carriers will begin launching their own 4G networks. It's looking likely that Verizon will be the next national carrier out of the gate with a 4G service, and a Verizon exec said yesterday that the carrier plans to have LTE up and running in 30 major markets by the end of the year. Bernie McMonagle, a Verizon senior federal sales executive, stated yesterday that Big Red will be launching LTE in 30 "NFL cities" by the end of 2010 and that the entire country would be blanketed in Verizon LTE coverage by 2013. However, McMonagle said that LTE-capable smartphones will not be released at the same time as the 30-city roll out.
Considering that Sprint already has WiMAX available in 52 markets and T-Mobile is aggressively rolling out HSPA+ and its "4G speeds," it's probably a good move by Verizon to launch LTE in as many cities as possible as quickly as possible. Still, I have a feeling that Big Red will have to put out some LTE-capable handsets for much of the mainstream to really take notice of their 4G coverage, as Sprint already has two WiMAX-ready phones available. Even without any 4G phones, though, I'm still excited to see Verizon finally getting ready to get LTE off the ground. The 4G wars are beginning to heat up, folks!