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Verizon’s 4G LTE to Match Their 3G Footprint by Mid-2013, Half a Year Earlier Than Projected

At a media and telecom conference that took place this morning, Verizon’s CFO Fran Shammo, talked about our favorite subject, 4G LTE. During the discussion, Shammo laid out one very important piece of information concerning the size and layout of their network. According to Big Red’s plan of attack, the carrier is on track to match their 3G coverage with their 4G LTE by mid-2013, which is half of a year ahead of their earlier predictions of late 2013.

Verizon’s rollout of 4G LTE has already been ahead of schedule, with the light up of their 400th market going live months ahead of schedule just a couple of weeks ago. Verizon currently covers 250 million Americans, 80% of the U.S. If Big Red can keep up with this schedule, they will cover 100% of America in 2013, almost a full year and a half ahead of the next competitor, AT&T.

Via: Fierce Wireless

  • joe

    And THEN they will finally release my GS3 jellybean update 🙂

  • master94

    Meanwhile VZ has been telling me I will have Fios soon for the last 6 years.

  • qrtfghjkl

    Nice, way to go VZW, now lower your price

  • dsass600

    Too bad I’m leaving Verizon for AT&T and buying a Nexus 4 off contract. Is anybody else here doing the same?

    • LionStone

      I’m not gonna leave VZ but I’m thinking of getting it just because those specs at $350./16 GB is insane and I will use it for travelling, fun and something to compare to the DNA because I plan to get that for my daily driver.

  • Alaska

    I for one would welcome ANYTHING Verizon. Alaska has no Verizon support until next summer at the earliest, and every tower they are building is LTE. Anything would be an improvement over 800kbps down speeds. AT&T beat them to LTE here, but I imagine in a few years Verizon will cover more of the state, with better service.

  • So thats where the $30 upgrade fee went!

  • J Dub

    Now if they could make it as strong as their 3G network. My work is covered in 4G yet I am constantly dropping from 4G to 3G at various parts of the building.

  • DP16052

    They might have all the markets covered by the middle of 2013 but I would question if the true footprint will match 3G by then. I have had 4G service for about a year in my area but there are many many places that I don’t receive any 4G coverage but will still get 1 bar on 3G. Our town gets coverage from the same two or three towers owned by Verizon so I would have to assume that 4G doesn’t have the range that 3G has due to frequency. Does anyone know if this will continue to be the case or can this be tweaked over time (LTE Advanced?).

  • virtualhuman

    VoLTE. No excuses!

  • Spider210

    If the damn partnerships would just fess up and pay their duties rural areas could get 4g lte much faster

  • brando56894

    Hopefully my area will finally get it (southern NJ). My work place 45 minutes north has 4G and my Girlfriend’s town (another 45 minutes north) has it also, and the area about 45 minutes south (in Newport, DE) has it too. Meanwhile cell service sucks in my area.

  • jnt

    pretty incredible given how broad their 3G footprint is

  • chey023

    I had a buddy who said 4g speeds were a myth. I showed him a screen shot of 3g vs 4g speeds. I no longer talk tech stuff with him.

  • Zoloft_User

    And with 4G everywhere, you can now get closer and closer to going over you’re tiered data plan that we decided to offer you because our profits weren’t high enough…get bent Verizon…The day you take my UNLIMITED DATA from me is the day I find a new carrier that offers the ability to carry the new nexus device.

  • DanWazz

    VZW: “Suck it AT&T!”
    VZW tier/shared data customers: “You’re welcome.”

    • Ted

      I think it’s more like …
      VZW tier/shared data customers: “Thank you sir, may I have another!”

  • How far is the distance of the LTE signal from the tower? I live in a 3G only area with 4G about 25 miles in three directions, and my D4 will pick it up most nights when I am upstairs.

    • The distance isn’t too far but there’s hope they’ll turn it on in your area. They turned it on in my are which is rural. When they did they sent an email the moment it was up.

  • bigdav1178

    I don’t know; they still have a lot of work to do to cover their entire 3G footprint. I’m only 45 miles northwest of Philadelphia (hardly the boondocks), and I rarely get a consistent 4G signal that lasts longer than a few minutes. Of course, they still haven’t gotten very reliable 3G around here either (their maps show complete coverage around here, but the reality isn’t such), so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Chris Malkiewicz

    Hopefully they can also beef up the network as well. Maybe it’s just me but LTE isn’t nearly as fast as it was when I bought my Thunderbolt. Obviously there is much more traffic but hopefully we can get back to the speeds it once was.

    • LionStone

      I don’t know…my speeds are about the same comparing the Inc4 to my TB, but the ping is better on the Inc4 which is the screenshot. The first 4 are SFO area and the last 2 are East coast, Raleigh area.

  • I can’t image why the majority of AT&T users don’t shift over to VZW. The cost is about the same….but the service is so much better….in most places.

    • At&t has about 3 advantages though, at least for individual lines. 1.) 3gb for 25 versus 2gb for 30 on tiered plans 2.) The ability to sign up contract free with month-to-month plans using unlocked phones (a boon to gsm nexus users) 3.) Rollover minutes. It’s a minor plus but those minutes do add up. Now then, if they had rollover data….

      • HTC1

        Non of that matters with crapy service. You can put all the bells and whistles you want on the plans. But without VZ network reliability it doesn’t matter. Everyone that has AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob at some point realize they made a huge mistake.I was one. Everywhere we went all my VZ friends had full signal and my phone would have to stay in my pocket because of the dreaded “No-Service” message up top. If you use a phone like you should use a phone you HAVE to have verizon. If you just like to use it every now and then (and not make or receive calls from it) then saving pennies from the other guys is fine.

        • Oh I agree with you on that. They have the advantages I listed but they aren’t major advantages. I still went with VZW for the reliability which mattered a lot to me since I’ve traveled to some pretty rural areas with little signal for anyone except a few.

  • Stevedub40

    Too bad their prices are getting ridiculous for their data.

  • Sqube

    Credit where it’s due, VZW’s LTE rollout has been a hell of an achievement.

    • John

      Ya but I still hate them with a passion

      • Sqube

        I’m not a big fan either, but I’m grandfathered in with unlimited data and no one else is on their level. So I’m going to have to stick around until someone is.

        The day I can get an unlocked phone and know that it’ll get high speeds with whatever SIM card I pop in is going to be a glorious day.

  • zepfloyd

    This is great news, but they have much ‘filling in’ to do. In many markets they have it, there still is quite a bit of 3G fallback in nooks and crannies of areas. So I hope they intend to optimize to REALLY match their robust 3G map.

    • 4G just went live in Harrisburg, IL. I have a friend who lives about 6mi outside of town, and he rarely sees the 3G connection on his iPhone 4 register >1 bar. This weekend, in his front yard, I had 3 bars on my Galaxy Nexus and was getting 18 mbps down/ 15 mbps up. I know the radios aren’t killer on the GNex, so it appears that some of the nooks and crannies are, indeed, being filled.

      • Big_EZ

        In my city we’ve had 4g since june/july of 2010 and 2 expansions since and half of the city or more still doesn’t get 4g

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Considering the fact that Verizon has pretty much done nothing to their CDMA network (GSM carriers have done EDGE -> HSPA -> HSPA+) they should be able to roll out LTE a ton faster. They should have massive piles of cash and people ready to deploy because they haven’t been doing anything else.

      • zepfloyd

        Well first off Verizon went from Rev.0 to Rev.A. in that timeframe. And to say they have been doing ‘nothing else’ is quite misinformed. They spend huge piles of cash (north of a BILLION dollars maintaining/upgrading/optimizing the 3G network alone. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

    • Ravi Rao

      They need to fill in more than their LTE network. Their 3G network is awful in some places where it shouldn’t be.

      I work in Palo Alto, CA and I can walk around outside and go from full 4G reception to 1 bar of 3G just by turning a corner. There are even a few spots here where I get no reception. I only get 2-4 Mbps download in Palo Alto or Cupertino, CA. Ridiculous.

      They’re touting their LTE coverage, but who cares if Bozeman, Montana or Amarillo, Texas have coverage? They’re half-assing their efforts in areas with a significant tech user population.

      • 2001400ex

        I care if Bozeman, MT has 4g!!!!! Lol

        • Ravi Rao

          Sorry 🙂

      • LionStone

        What phone are you using? I know my buddy has issues with his iphone on AT&T in Menlo Park…I haven’t noticed any problems in that area with my HTC phones on VZ

  • This is why it is surprising that the next Nexus doesn’t have LTE. I think it was a step backwards and almost like what happened when Apple release the iPhone 4s.

    • Sqube

      They didn’t want to put in an extra radio and deal with the increased complexity and decreased battery life. At least, that’s the explanation I remember reading as I was riding the inner tubes.

      • EC8CH

        They didn’t want to go through all the BS the carriers would put them through, so they stayed with GSM which is open.

        • dsass600

          Which is why I’m going to AT&T.

      • mikel61101

        The 4s was not released with lte because at that time the lte chipset was too big for the 4s peeps and they wanted to continue with the same size phone and squeeze every dime out…

    • Jarred Sutherland

      In order to work on Verizon they would then need a GSM, CDMA and LTE radio in the device. I can easily see them adding LTE to the next Nexus because LTE will be in many more places by then. But I prefer they leave the CDMA garbage out.

      • Diablo81588

        The s4 pro chipset is global ready, supporting CDMA, GSM, and LTE. It would not need separate radios.

        CDMA might not have the best features, but its unmatched in capacity and reliability. Far from garbage if you ask me.

  • Only if they rolled out software updates as fast as they rolled out LTE…

  • This is the dream:

    I hope once everyone is on LTE on VZW they are able to seamlessly enable VoLTE and begin killing their CDMA/EVDO network. This is why Google is waiting for things to settle. They want to sell only HSPA+ / LTE devices WORLDWIDE.

    One step closer to universal devices.


    • And, a continuation to this dream: Once VoLTE takes hold, and other carriers move to it, we’ll start seeing unlocked LTE devices that operate on all the carrier frequencies and we’ll have true interoperability.

      Edit: Wait, that is kind of what you said with “One step closer to universal devices”. Herp Derp on my part!

    • EC8CH

      I’m kind of hoping this is Google plan as well, but you would think Verizon would know this and have some kind of plan to hold onto their control once CDMA goes the way of the Dodo.

    • zepfloyd

      We are a long long way from a CDMA shutdown. Soon enough you won’t ‘need’ it sure, but killing the network? Maybe in 5-10 years…. There are millions of devices that are 3G only, including all feature phones and some smartphones they are STILL selling. I’m sure Verizon would love to refarm that spectrum but it’s just not going to happen yet.

      • EC8CH

        But when will we see new devices sold for use on VZW that don’t require a CDMA radio anymore?

        • zepfloyd

          Obviously a tough call. My speculation is it’s going to be longer than most people here hope or think. Just because a phone may not need it anymore, it’s still a redundancy to provide service in case the network goes down, or coverage is gapped in certain areas. Since new phones have all possibilities into an integrated radio, there’s no reason not to. You don’t see AT&T stop supporting EDGE on new phones do you?

          The question REALLY is…if someone makes a phone (like Google) that only supports LTE/VoLTE and NO CMDA, will Verizon allow it.

          • EC8CH

            “The question REALLY is…if someone makes a phone (like Google) that only supports LTE/VoLTE and NO CMDA, will Verizon allow it.

            That’s what I’m getting at. It’s my understanding that Verizon falls back to their CDMA network to get around their open network obligations agreed to under their LTE spectrum lease. Once LTE is all that’s needed, can they even block a device from using that spectrum on their network? I hope not, and I hope that’s Google’s future plan for Nexus devices.

          • zepfloyd

            I’m not that much of a conspiracy theorist, so I don’t agree that’s why…it’s more likely it’s simply because LTE isn’t obviously everywhere yet.

            Right now even LTE devices still must activate through the CDMA network to operate on Verizon due the hybrid nature of the FrankenNetwork. If VoLTE changes how that authentication works, then I don’t see the issue with no CMDA. If it doesn’t change, then…

          • LionStone

            HAH! Nice…FrankenNetwork!!

          • michael arazan

            Not to mention their LTE network is still the bare minimum of a network. LTE speeds only occur within four miles of an lte tower and greatly diminish the further away you are. I live in St.Louis and they only have 7 4g lte towers for over 800 sq. miles here. Everyone pays for lte but do’t get the lte speeds, 12 down and 5 up average is all I get. I went to Chicago a few times and could not hold an lte signal in downtown chicago and 6 miles out at my hotel. Until they start adding more towers to either boost speeds and/or congestion no one will be getting the speeds we actually pay for. Slightly better than wifi is not that great, and all I’ve seen in MO and IL

          • noc007

            They will have to per the C Block rules, but they’ll still charge for the data usage. I doubt they’ll care anyways given the current plans. Granted, the FCC doesn’t really bother making sure VZW complies with the rules nor do they levy any burdensome fines when they do so I’m guessing those of us on grandfathered plans will continue to get screwed.

    • George264

      Then, CDMA/EVDO is gone, that specturm turns into better 4G LTE. VoLTE= crystal clear call, And then… Verizon got time to update devices. And we can use unlocked phones on Verizon. And then… I JIZZED MY PANTS WTF. 😉

    • dsass600

      This can never happen. Sprint’s LTE runs on 1900 bands, while AT&T and Verizon run on 700. Too far apart.


    • Glen

      Some of us in areas that Verizon supposedly updated to 4G coverage have found 4G to be very spotty at best. without continued CDMA support, we would have a much less reliable carrier service. I received an email that “you are now covered by 4G” but only pick it up in less than 20% of our foothill community. 3G covers about 65% more, and we get 1x in about another 10%-12%.

  • Then they can start voice over LTE, then start shutting down CDMA. Is VZW using a standard LTE. (are the network binaries closed source?)

    • trbasil

      If they did that I would leave them in a heartbeat as the “4g” coverage in my town is only if your on the north end of town ( which I’m not). In the rest of the town you have to stand perfectly still, outside, on one foot, holding the phone slightly above your head and have the other arm stick out at a 45 degree angle to get your phone to lock on to 4g. Then most of the time it drops that as soon as you try transmitting any data. And my 4g roll out was 5 months ago, so i’m pretty sure that they are done (I hope that I am wrong) rolling it out in my area.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      CDMA will not disappear for quite some time. There are millions of people still on handsets that only make calls and texts, you have to wait for those to phase out. Historically it takes a long time to reach that cutoff point.

      • I thought that I heard a prediction a while ago ( I could be talking out the wrong end here) that said they were targeting 2015ish. LTE is cheaper and more efficient. The number of dumbphone users is dropping quickly, and VZW can give incentives for upgrades on those phones. I think the extinction of CDMA will come sooner than historical precedent suggests, but I could just be being too optimistic about the death of a technology that has given me so much heartache.