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Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

Verizon Wireless is going all out for Long Term Evolution (LTE) as it plans to only introduce new devices that support the 4G network for the remainder of the year.

Verizon Wireless CTO David Small made this promise to Dow Jones, as well as upping Verizon's coverage target by 10 million. The carrier now plans to reach 260 million Americans by the end of 2012, Small said. It's pursuing that goal with the launch of seven new markets tomorrow, bringing its current total to 203, a number it will double by the end of the year. The new markets include Dothan and Enterprise, Ala.; Naples, Fla.; Greenville, N.C.; Altus and Durant, Okla.; and Longview/Marshall, Texas. Small told Dow Jones that Alaska would be the only state without LTE before 2013.

Verizon currently offers 10 LTE smartphones, beating out AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s three. According to the NPD Group Inc. , 7 percent of smartphone sales for the entire U.S. market were for LTE devices, and 26 percent of the consumers that bought them were specifically seeking LTE in a handset.

Why this matters
Verizon's commitment to only introducing LTE smartphones for the rest of 2012 caught people's attention because most believe Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) will launch its next iPhone this year, and there's no doubt Verizon will want to carry it. Ergo, the iPhone 5 should include LTE. That is, of course, assuming Verizon's Small knows Apple's plans at this point.

LTE iPhone aside, the statement is notable because only 5 percent of Verizon's customers own LTE phones today, leaving the carrier lots of room to grow. Verizon has had its attention divided by the 3G iPhone, but it is starting to promote LTE more with deals like its double-data offer for LTE devices. If an LTE iPhone is introduced this year, that'll certainly help move the market along as well. (See Verizon Doubles Up on LTE.)

For more
Read up on Verizon's LTE progress below.



— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:39:26 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

Always thought it was strange that Verizon would keep offering 3G phones while it was rolling out LTE. I mean, I understand the iPhone but last year Verizon sold a lot of 3G Android phones as well. Perhaps now that 4G phones are starting to be available for around $100 or less (think the $250 4G phones from last year are free by now) there's less of a reason to have the 3G Android phones around.

Still though -- I bet most people wait and see for the if and when an LTE iPhone comes out before making the leap. Verizon's recent move to resurrect its "double data" promotion is proof to me that LTE still isn't moving the needle, all by itself. 

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:39:26 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

Always thought it was strange that Verizon would keep offering 3G phones while it was rolling out LTE. I mean, I understand the iPhone but last year Verizon sold a lot of 3G Android phones as well. Perhaps now that 4G phones are starting to be available for around $100 or less (think the $250 4G phones from last year are free by now) there's less of a reason to have the 3G Android phones around.

Still though -- I bet most people wait and see for the if and when an LTE iPhone comes out before making the leap. Verizon's recent move to resurrect its "double data" promotion is proof to me that LTE still isn't moving the needle, all by itself. 

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:39:26 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

I saw a few more reports about a Verizon LTE outage yesterday. Anyone experience any problems? I'm sure it's hoping to detract from that with all of its LTE cheerleading today!

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:39:26 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

I wish they would actually talk more about what's causing the outages. I have asked but all they've really said is that they've all had different causes.

wanlord 12/5/2012 | 5:39:24 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

what causes Internet outages?

jggveth 12/5/2012 | 5:39:23 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones Solar flares obviously.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:39:23 PM
re: Verizon Goes All Out for LTE Smartphones

A Juniper router glitch caused an Internet outage in November. Australian ISP Dodo just took responsibilty for one in that country.


But what's your point?


The Internet is a massive global system made up of lots of much smaller parts. Its not a single network run in one country by a lone provider across just under 200 towns and cities.


Not asking would be more like saying "meh, who knows" when BlackBerry had its big outage last October.


 

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