Verizon to Reach 400 LTE Markets This Month
Verizon Wireless today provided an update on the progress of its LTE network deployment. Verizon Wireless said that it will reach 400 covered markets by October 18, about two months ahead of schedule, when it adds Marquette, Michigan. The roll-out will continue for the rest of the year and on into 2013. Verizon said that by the close of 2012, it will add another 20 markets to its LTE coverage, pushing the total number of markets covered to more than 420. According to Verizon, 35% of its data traffic now transits its LTE network. Verizon expects that number to climb to 75% within a few months. Verizon says this uptake is significantly faster than when it transitioned from its 2G network to 3G. It terms of future technologies, Verizon is looking at LTE-Advanced as a possible successor to LTE, but also plans to use AWS spectrum (1700 MHz) to supplement its current LTE network, which uses 700 MHz, over time. AWS-capable devices should be available within the next year. Verizon also noted that it is still evaluating VoLTE and is "excited" to bring VoLTE to its devices and network. Verizon did not commit to a firm time table for launching VoLTE. It will begin trials in late 2013, and hopes to launch in either late 2013 or early 2014.