Verizon Wireless says it will deploy 4G small cells and "other LTE-Advanced" improvements as it works with partners to get the technology ready for deployment.
Light Reading Mobile asked the carrier for an update on its LTE-Advanced plans now that T-Mobile USA has launched the first LTE Release 10 -- a.k.a. an LTE-Advanced-ready network -- in the U.S. (See T-Mobile's 'Smoking Fast' LTE Goes Live.)
"When LTE-Advanced is ready for prime time, we will lead the deployment charge, as we have done with 4G LTE," a spokesman for the carrier said in an email reply to questions.
Verizon is now "actively involved" in working with technology partners on the updates, the spokesman added.
In reality, this is likely to mean incremental improvements as and when the technology actually becomes available. "This year, we have plans for small cells and other LTE-Advanced improvements when and where they make sense," the spokesman writes.
This is because many of the improvements detailed in the 3GPP Release 10 specification for LTE-Advanced -- such as bonding separate wireless channels for increased capacity -- are simply not available yet. Carriers are expecting to see the first chips supporting that feature some time in 2013 and availability for smartphones is expected in 2014 or beyond. (See Carriers Are a Mixed Bag on LTE-Advanced.)
"Our primary focus is on the real stuff that matters, which is coverage, deployment and quality of the network," the spokesman added.
Verizon dwarfs every other operator in the U.S. for 4G LTE coverage, with 486 markets live at present. (See Spring Into LTE: A 4G Snapshot.)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile