Verizon's LTE Network Reaches 500 Markets
Verizon Wireless today said that its LTE 4G network is now available in 500 markets around the U.S. It is available in 49 states, and will launch in Alaska next month. LTE blankets 99% of its CDMA 3G network footprint, and is available to 95% of the U.S. population, or about 298 million POPs. According to Verizon 57% of the data that transits its network runs over LTE. By way of comparison, AT&T's LTE 4G network is now available in 291 markets and covers more than 200 million POPs. Sprint's LTE 4G network is available in 110 markets and reaches about 150 million POPs. T-Mobile offers LTE in only a handful of markets right now. It expects to cover 100 million POPs with LTE by mid-year, and 200 million by year's-end. Verizon went on to say that new technologies, such as VoLTE and LTE-Advanced, are still "on the horizon." According to Verizon Wireless Chief Network Officer Nicola Palmer, the company is looking to launch VoLTE, with features such as HD Voice and RCS Chat, in 2014; and Verizon will offer its first LTE-only, VoIP-enabled phone by late 2014. The company expects traffic on its CDMA 3G network to decrease by 50% by 2015, and will at that point begin refarming some of its PCS spectrum for LTE. Verizon will, however, deploy LTE on its AWS spectrum holdings before it refarms its PCS spectrum.