Earlier this month we saw Verizon expand its LTE network to new markets, and at the time Big Red said that its LTE coverage was available in around 200 cities across the U.S. That's a pretty respectable number, but Verizon Wireless CTO David Small has told Dow Jones Newswires that his carrier intends to double that by the end of 2012. "By the end of the year, our plan is to be in at least 400 markets across the country," Small said, adding that Alaska would be the only state without any Verizon LTE by the time 2013 rolls around. (Sorry, Alaska.) Small added that Verizon plans to cover 260 million Americans with 4G LTE by 2013.
All of those Verizon customers that will be freshly-covered by 4G (as well as users in existing LTE markets) won't have to worry about a lack of LTE handsets, as Verizon told Dow Jones that during the remainder of 2012, it will only introduce smartphones with 4G LTE connectivity. The carrier didn't offer details on specific devices, but Dow Jones points out that that statement seems to suggest that the next iPhone will include LTE connectivity, a move that wouldn't come as a total shock since Apple's new iPad features LTE support for both Verizon and AT&T.
Sound good, Verizon folk? It's great to hear that Verizon is dedicated to continuing the rollout of its 4G LTE coverage throughout 2012, even though it's got a fairly sizable footprint already. The "only 4G smartphones" decision is one we've heard Verizon discuss in the past, but combined with the carrier's push for 400 LTE markets by the end of this year, it could be a good way to get more folks jumping onto the LTE network. That's something I'm sure Verizon would like to see since we've it's said that only about five percent of its customers are currently riding the 4G airwaves. How many of you own a Verizon LTE-enabled device?