Verizon announced way back in March that it planned to expand its 4G LTE network to 400 markets by the end of 2012, and today the carrier revealed that not only will it reach that goal, but that it'll do so with a little time left to spare. The carrier revealed today that it'll hit its 400th LTE market with its upcoming expansion on October 18, which will bring its LTE network to a total of 417 markets. The lucky city that'll be number 400 for Verizon is Marquette, Mich.
The big red carrier won't be resting on its laurels after hitting 400, though. Nicola Palmer, vice president of network operations for Verizon Wireless, said that her company still plans on having a 4G LTE network comparable in size to its 3G network by the end of 2013. A list of markets that'll see new and expanded Verizon LTE coverage on October 18, as well as a list of cities that are expected to gain LTE service by the end of this year, is available below.
Palmer also touched on a few other aspects of Verizon's LTE network this afternoon. For example, she told CNET that Verizon customers on LTE use twice as much data as those on 3G. The exec also touched a bit on the iPhone 5, saying that the launch of Apple's new smartphone has "gone well" and that the device hasn't had a negative impact on Verizon's LTE network, adding that Verizon isn't "running that close to the edge." Finally, Palmer talked a bit about Voice over LTE. While Verizon originally planned to offer VoLTE later this year, Palmer now says that the service is expected to begin consumer trials in late 2013, with service going live in 2014.
Finally, Verizon talked about AWS spectrum, like the kind that it's gaining from various dealings with T-Mobile and cable companies. According to The Verge, Palmer said that 700MHz LTE is still Verizon's "go-to" option for service, but that it plans to use the AWS spectrum as a way to add "depth" to its current network. Verizon is already preparing to roll out AWS LTE coverage, and devices capable of accessing the service are expected to begin arriving in 2013. Verizon also says that it's "looking forward" to LTE Advanced service, but it didn't divulge any information about any related plans.
Verizon launched its 4G LTE network in December 2010, and since then the carrier has steadily been expanding the service's reach across the country. Lately we've been seeing several smaller towns gaining access to the service, and Verizon has also been working to expand its existing LTE coverage in other areas. It's certainly exciting to see all of this LTE growth if you're a Verizon customer, especially if you've already got an LTE-capable device or plan on picking one up soon. How many of you have a piece of Verizon LTE and live in an area with LTE coverage?
New markets going live on October 18
Expansions going live on October 18
New markets going live before the end of 2012