Ahead of the wireless industry’s CTIA trade show, Verizon made an impressive announcement: 95 percent of the carrier’s network is now blanketed with 4G LTE coverage. The carrier rolled out 4G LTE service to six more markets and says that its fast mobile broadband network is now available in 497 markets. Blanketing 95 percent of its robust 3G footprint–a map that spans much of the entire United States–with the faster LTE service in around two years time is a great accomplishment for Verizon.
This is not only a significant achievement for Verizon, but will also offer consumers two huge benefits as well.
First, for those living in rural areas that may not be profitable for traditional fast DSL or wired line Internet, LTE mobile broadband will offer these customers faster access speeds without requiring costly infrastructure or hard wiring.
This is a huge selling point for mobile broadband as Verizon will not only be able to connect more people, but the carrier can connect more people and still deliver faster service without wires than what is available in some remote locations across the nation.
Second, with Verizon nearing 100 percent LTE coverage, Verizon can focus on the next generation of wireless, including voice over LTE and LTE-Advanced. VoLTE will offer better voice quality and could potentially reduce battery drain when using voice and data simultaneously while LTE-Advanced will deliver even faster speeds than LTE.
Verizon is scheduled to hold a live press conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning at CTIA. It’s still unclear what the carrier will be announcing. On the services side, VoLTE seems like a natural possibility while on the device side there have been rumors of an HTC One variant for Verizon.
With 4G LTE, Verizon had promised speeds up to ten times faster than 3G.
The carrier says that more than 40 percent of the smartphones sold are now operating on LTE, 63 percent of Internet devices run on LTE, and 54 percent of network traffic is now on LTE.
Verizon is still a distant leader in LTE network coverage and deployment. AT&T is also making a lot of progress with its LTE rollout, but has not yet caught up to its larger rival. Sprint and T-Mobile have only recently begun rolling out LTE service.
The carrier also published a full report of its LTE markets online.