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Verizon says LTE now touches 89% of the population

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I’ll give Verizon this: it doesn’t pussy-foot around. In his CES 2013 keynote, Verizon(s vz) chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam revealed that its LTE network now covers 89 percent of the U.S. population. In two years, Verizon’s 4G network had gone from nothing to 473 markets, touching 273 million people.

Verizon plans to finish its network build in mid 2013, six months ahead of schedule, offering LTE everywhere it has 3G coverage. That puts it well ahead of all of its U.S. competitors. AT&T’s LTE network covers about 170 million people, Sprint’s LTE rollout is just getting started, and we won’t see a T-Mobile LTE signal until right about the time Verizon completes its LTE rollout.

7 Responses to “Verizon says LTE now touches 89% of the population”

  1. Josh Goldberg

    Here in silicon valley half the time there’s no LTE signal. At my house in a neighborhood of several hundred homes there is no signal at all. Their stats are false and misleading.

  2. Andrew J Shepherd

    So, VZW is taking 2.5 years to deploy Release 8 LTE without remote radios and not at full site density. Should we be so celebratory of VZW, Kevin? I think that Sprint’s deployment plans and timeline are more “impressive,” maybe T-Mobile’s, too.


    • Kevin Fitchard

      I don’t know, AJ, I see your points, but I think you miss the bigger historical picture. It’s much easier to deploy a network once the technology matures. For all of its faults, Verizon was a pioneer in LTE. It drove the rest of the operators to deploy LTE, and it, along with a handful of other global carriers, was the guinea pig for large-scale LTE deployments. In spite of that it charged ahead with its deployment and didn’t languish over a few trial markets like so many other new technology rollouts. Maybe Sprint’s network will be better, maybe its deployment timeline will be faster, but it doesn’t change the fact it didn’t begin a full 18 months until after Verizon.

      We usually agree on most things, but in this case I really think Tony Melone needs to be commended for what he accomplished.

      • Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

        Well, I agree with A.J. somewhat. While we should commend Verizon Wireless for pushing the standard so hard, we should also recognize that Verizon’s early deployment has led to interesting issues. To note, Verizon Wireless was the first carrier to really butcher the LTE implementation so that it relied heavily on CDMA authentication to access the LTE network.

        Most carriers (even GSM ones) use a separate provisioning system for LTE because it ensured stability and allowed independence from the legacy system. Verizon Wireless (and I believe Sprint as well) bridged the legacy subscriber and network authentication systems, which has led to issues and has made it difficult to release LTE-only devices.

        That said, I’m pretty sure that the series of network failures in 2011 and early 2012 forced Verizon to rejigger its network to split it, which is why we have devices like the Samsung Galaxy Camera (which don’t have any CDMA support at all).

        In any case, Verizon Wireless has done a great job deploying LTE nationally, and should be commended for it. But now it has a harder task: go back and upgrade to 3GPP Release 10 and add AWS radios to the LTE network so that the spectrum it paid dearly for does not go to waste (which would get them in a lot of trouble with the FCC).