Verizon announced early on in 2012 that it planned to expand its 4G LTE network to 400 markets across the U.S. by the end of 2012. It achieved that goal with time to spare, and it finished out 2012 with a couple more LTE expansions. Now that 2013 is underway, Verizon has provided us with an update on its LTE network and just how much it's being used. Verizon recently announced that its 4G LTE service is now present in a total of 473 markets and covers 273.5 million people. That's nearly 89 percent of Verizon's 3G footprint, and by the middle of 2013, it's expected that the LTE network will be available in almost every area that the 3G network is. Verizon says that its LTE service will completely cover its 3G network by the end of 2013.
So how much is that LTE coverage getting used? According to Mike Haberman, Verizon's VP of of network engineering, nearly 50 percent of the big red carrier's data traffic goes over its LTE airwaves. Verizon said back in October 2012 that 35 percent of its data traffic was on its LTE service, so that's a 15 percent jump in just a couple of months.
Haberman also provided a peek into Verizon's future network plans, telling FierceWireless that the operator will use LTE on AWS this year, and in 2014 Verizon will combine data transmissions over AWS and 700MHz for improved speed and capacity. Big Red also plans to refarm the 850MHz spectrum currently used for its CDMA service for LTE coverage, but that won't happen for some time. As for its CDMA network, Verizon has said that it plans to keep it up and running through the end of this decade.
Verizon launched its 4G LTE network way back in Dec. 2010 (seems like ages ago, no?), and since then the carrier has been steadily bringing service to new cities and expanding coverage in existing markets. It sounds like that'll continue into 2013, with Verizon working to fill in the parts of the country where it doesn't have LTE service, which is good news for any folks out there that might still be stuck in a 3G-only area. Are any of you located in an area that's still without Verizon's LTE service?