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Verizon Starts 2013 With 473 4G LTE Markets, Will Match 3G Network by End of Year

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Verizon’s 4G LTE is big – and it’s still growing. As has been reported ad nauseam, their plan is to match the size of their 3G network with 4G LTE. The original scheduled targeted the end of 2013 for this milestone, but thanks to a fast rollout, they should accomplish that task 6 months early. 

In a press release that was sent out this morning, Verizon bragged up their current status and roadmap for the next 12 months. To start 2013, Big Red has 473 4G LTE markets which cover 273.5 million potential customers. At its current state, the new LTE network covers 89% of their 3G areas, and will reach almost all of it by mid-2013. At the end of the year, they will indeed have LTE everywhere that currently has Verizon’s 3G service.

That’s impressive, to say the least. It seemed like just yesterday that most of us were reading each new list of fresh markets with excitement, hoping that we were next. Now, it’s smaller markets or areas that are being extended to. It’s awesome. 4G LTE everywhere you go.

Via:  Verizon

  • Gritchu

    All this Unlimited data stuff has gotten me confused. I’m hoping one of you can lay it out simply for me and anyone else who’s wondering.

    Lets say I have a Droid phone on my non-family unlimited plan. I see something shiny and new and decide I want to upgrade to that new phone. Is there any way to do it without losing my unlimited plan?

    Furthermore, lets say I keep my phone and pass all upgrades. Is it true that as soon as I go to a month to month billing cycle (after my contract expires) that Verizon could take my unlimited data and put me on a tiered plan at any time?

    I’ve heard rumors that at some point in 2014 all remaining Unlimited Plans will have become month to month and that Verizon could pull the rug out from under them.

    • bleeew

      If your contract ends, then Verizon can pull your unlimited data. But I doubt they will do it because you wpuld be paying full price for a device(unless you consume an insane amount of GBS).

    • Do you mean unlimited data? The only way to get that new shiny phone is to buy it without a contract, which is considerably more expensive.

      Verizon has continued to say the will not cancel your unlimited data plan as long as you buy a new phone without a contract, but at some point they are hoping that you will buy that shiny new phone WITH a contract, and that will end your unlimited data, without them having to pull the rug out from under you.

      I don’t know about the rumors, but i also don’t know how they can just PUT you on a tiered data plan without warning you first. I dont think they will pull the rug out from under you as you put it, but i think they will give all the unlimited data people notice that in a certain amount of time, and 60 or 90 days would be my guess, and it might go something like this;

      Verizon Customer,

      “Verizon will no longer be offering an unlimited data plan. There are 3 options for you to choose from. You can go to are website and change you plan to one of the many tiered data plans we offer, go to your local Verizon store to change your plan, or contact us at 800-Verizon to change your plan.

      If you do not change your plan within 90 days we will put you on a automatic tiered data plan of 2 GB per month, and as with most tiered data plans, you will also get unlimited talk and text.”

      Sorry for any inconvenience this may be to you. Thanks for using Verizon and if you have any questions please contact us at 800-Verizon!

  • You can bash Verizon all you want (I myself considered leaving them at one point) but the bottom line is that if people are willing to pay for this level of coverage then Verizon has hit the right price point.

    It’s not like there aren’t other options; T-Mobile has some great value deals right now. If consumers are willing to put up with high data costs and fees for the benefit of the best coverage in the nation, then they have made their decision and Verizon has done nothing wrong.

  • RaptorOO7

    But I thought Fran Shammo stated they would 6 months ahead of schedule and done matching 3G markets by June of 2013, NOT, the end of 2013! I guess Fran was WRONG!

  • I know VZW has their share of issues…but like most people said..the network is what keeps me on it…plus having my unlimited plan grandfathered in. I hope the expansion improves the speeds in a lot of the big cities…I know Boston was okay speeds…Miami had horrible speeds. But I can’t complain when living in Nashville and i’m consistently getting 20Mbps up and down. It’s actually faster than my Comcast internet.

  • They are awful in many aspects but nobody can touch their network in terms of speed and coverage. Believe me I am a big time VZW hater (see Thunderbolt release, see GNex release, see locked bootloaders, etc etc etc)….but honestly their network is the only thing that keeps me with them.

  • I wish I their heavily advertised 4G service worked in Back Bay, Boston and was more widely available in north of LA, which it is just atrocious! I want to dump them and move to AT&T, get the GNex Note 2.

    • ciscore

      I think you mean Galaxy Note 2. It’s not a Nexus line device.

      • Yup, I was being a lazy basterge.

  • world_wide_wes

    been getting 4G finally in Alpine,CA for a little over a week now, love it for playing PS3! my 3Mb/768K dsl is still the fastest available on my street. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

    • How fast is your 4G? It’s better than dsl for gaming?

      • JoYu

        We all know that gaming uses 10Mb/s (/Sarc)… When you are gaming the ping is usually more important than throughput. Of course when downloading content or netflix etc that is another story. And ping on cell is almost always worse than dsl/cable/fiber

        • Tyler Cameron

          3G pings are usually better than DSL. DSL has >150ms pings on average

          • JoYu

            Umm no. When I game I get 15-60 mS ping for closer servers (usually 20’s to 30’s). Of course it always depends on where the server is and where your data is being routed through.

  • 3of5

    Who gives a crap about Verizon 4g LTE, when you have to pay $100-$150 per month to use it. Even the old unlimited plan at $85 is kind of high when you can get Straight Talk HSPA+ (att or tmo mvno) for $45 per month at speeds way above 3g (HSPA+). Again it’s just not smart for anymore to sign a contract with Verizon, or even At&t for that matter. Contracts are a thing of the past.

  • Sigh….as soon as they finally get 4G where I live, they’ll take away my unlimited data. I just know it.

    • Tim Swann

      they can’t take away your unlimited unless you enter a new contract. even if your current contract has finished 2 years, you technically become a month-to-month subscriber, but cannot take away your unlimited until you agree to a new contract. the 2 year contract length is just the minimum you needed to stay.

      • They can cancel the contract at any time, for any reason, if I recall the TOS correctly. You don’t pay the ETF in that case.

        • Tim Swann

          see the official comment in the post at another blog. http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/17/oh-snap-verizon-will-end-unlimited-data-grandfathering-if-you-buy-a-4g-phone-this-summer-onward/

          They have to have cause to void your contract. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think they can void your contract unless you breach the ToS. If they could do that, don’t you think they would have started doing that to everyone that still had unlimited data?

          As for the ETF, once your 2 years are up, you can walk away at any time without paying any fees for canceling. That is a fact that I know for sure.

          I use a lot of data each month and will have to determine if I ultimately save money by paying full price for a phone to keep my unlimited data.

          • I agree, I just bought the Note2 and over the contract *IF* I never went over the 2GB they recommended(which I did the first month) I would have end up spending $47 more than if I kept my plan the same and paid full price.

  • Adam Brandt

    I dunno, I’m looking at their map right now, and there seams to be a LOT more 3G coverage than a measly 11% compared to their LTE markets. Who knows

  • Casey Artner

    They think this will give them a competitive advantage, and it will, but it will also give customers enormous freedom when all a device maker has to include is a GSM/HSPA/LTE radio to get access to 3 of the 4 nationwide carriers.

  • bull3946

    It’s clever marketing, but it’s important to remember that “89% of our 3G coverage area has LTE” is not the same as “LTE has the same coverage as 89% of our 3G market.”

    LTE sites are unquestionably at a lower density than 3G sites. You can demonstrate this any time you fall back to 3G or 1x inside a building. In theory, this should never happen as 700mhz will penetrate the structure better. However, that LTE site you are connected to is likely further away than the 3G site, so the signal gets attenuated below usable levels when you move indoors.

    That said, their commitment to improving the network is about the only thing that hasn’t made me drop them over their anti-consumer practices over the years. It’s refreshing to see a telecom company push to improve their infrastructure at such a pace.

    • michael arazan

      Too bad the only do the “bare minimum” to make a market 4G. 4G towers only have a range of 4 miles and gets exponentially worse the farther away you are from it. St.Louis and Chicago have awful 4G speeds that are basically the equivalent of wifi. People paying for 4G speeds but aren’t getting them is stealing, it’s bad enough they changed the definition of what true 4G is, to their made up joke of it. I’m sick of Verizon doing the Bare Minimum on everything and charging a premium for it.

  • Guess Verizon’s business plan worked. “Give the customers speedy 4G LTE and they’ll forgive our countless other screwups” Shameful

  • Spider210

    Hmm still no 4g in upstate NY, what is the holdup!

    • JoesMama

      Which part of upstate NY? It’s a little more than just “north of the City.”

      • Spider210

        try far upstate, watertown, plattsburgh, sh*t plattsburgh on a clear day gets 1 bar lte from VT in certain areas…

    • Where upstate do you live? Only places i know that didnt know to have 4G are really small drive thru towns

  • Next up: Figure out how to make LTE less of a battery hog… and give us better battery tech in phones… or BOTH

    • bull3946

      Are you using a device with an S4 processor in it?

      Integrated LTE makes all the difference. I don’t get much difference in battery life between LTE and WIFI on my Razr MAXX HD. I’m sure there’s still room for improvement, but LTE is no longer the battery hot that it was. It’s easily on par with 3g (likely better since the radio only has to be active for a shorter duration due to the higher speeds.)

  • ToddAwesome

    I’m surrounded on all sides by 4G, but my house only pulls in 3G, let’s go Verizon, I just need you to pump out another half mile!

    • NexusPhan69

      Still not even a flicker of 4G at work or home. Even T-Mobil has HSPA+ 42 here. I still question Verizon’s 89% statistic.

      • Galaxy Note 2

        I agree with you on this… I’m in central IL, and my phone stays on 3G all the time.

  • FAL_Fan

    Honestly I hope they far surpass their 3G markets by the end of the year. There are still places in West Virginia that have absolutely no cell phone coverage at all and I would like to be able to make phone calls when I’m traveling out that way to visit friends in Ohio and when going snowboarding.

    • cmumathwhiz

      I agree – I have family in the UP of Michigan and there are many dead zones up there. I don’t care what they fill them in – 3G, 4G, 2G, just something to fill in the dead zones. I agree to with more reliable 4G, I’m often dropping back down to 3G in buildings.

      • FAL_Fan

        I was actually just up there for a wedding and I had…well I guess it was ok service considering where I was, but there were definitely some dead zones that really should be addressed.

  • Mallahet

    Wish they’d expand the number of towers in oversaturated areas. I’ve never had anywhere close to what is supposedly 4G in Minneapolis..

    • schoat333

      Agreed. Cleveland was one of the first cities to get it, and it was great at first. Now my AT&T friends get faster data speeds on their HSPA “4G” phones.

      • Spider210

        ya back in the day verizon had 3g way before att now they (att) in my area have their ‘4g’ here which is far better than cdma 3g. this sucks..the normal person doesn’t notice the difference between ‘4g’ and lte but they do notice a huge difference between 3g and ‘4g’

    • I’m sure that’s on the docket

  • schoat333

    Too bad they got rid of unlimited data, force you to buy a phone at full retail to keep it, are terrible with updates on their Nexus device, and do not offer the new Nexus.

    • mustbepbs

      Why would they offer the Nexus 4 when it has no LTE capabilities?

      • True but that’s because they royally screwed the Gnex. If they hadn’t tried to block Google at every turn, maybe we could have enjoyed the Nexus 4 with LTE

      • schoat333

        Obviously it would have to be a Verizon version, like the Gnex. I thought that part was common sense.

        • mustbepbs

          Well I can make up stuff, too.

      • The Nexus 4 was released sans LTE because the carriers wanted too much control. A 400-450 dear device and it is the Android Flagship? It would absolutely destroy Android competition

      • zwade

        They still offer dumbphones…

    • FAL_Fan

      Your nexus and unlimited data arguments are valid, but they do not force you to buy a phone at full retail to keep it. If you have other lines on your plan that don’t have unlimited data then you can simply transfer your upgrade to that line then swap the phone to your line…it’s that simple. If that doesn’t work for you then try adding a line on tiered data and put it to the lowest data allowance and switch phones with your existing phone…there are workarounds people.

      • schoat333

        Why would you pay for an additional line just so you can upgrade your phone? The $10.00 a month would cost me more over 2 years than just buying a phone at full retail.

        • havrin

          Unless I’m misreading it, you are saying that $240 would buy a phone at full retail price? Not on verizon it doesn’t.

          • ArrowCool

            I think he is saying in addition to the $199 or $299 you are spending on the phone itself.

          • havrin

            Ahhh okay. Now I see where he/she is coming from. Makes sense now. Thanks 🙂

        • FAL_Fan

          I am on the same page as havrin here…but even is you are meaning it how ArrowCool says you are still incorrect, $300 for the phone plus $240 for only a line fee is only $540…and therefore still less than a $600 S3 or $700 Note 2…Also maybe you have someone that needs a phone line like a parent, significant other, or sibling that would pay to have cheaper service by being under your plan…I’ve done that too, it’s really simple.

      • David Narada Brown


        • mbaldwin85

          No. I do it all the time. Put the upgrade on the line that has 2GB, then switch it to my unlimited.

        • FAL_Fan

          No. I, just like mbaldwin85, do it all the time. It’s truly as simple as I said it was.

        • will bartlett

          people always think the only option is shared data…there are still the plans with 2, 5, and 10 gbs for single lines…

        • Your caps lock key is broken

    • You can get around the unlimited data situation rather easily and still get a subsidized phone, provided you had unlimited data before. As long as the primary line never exercises the phone upgrade you can just keep upgrading other lines on your account at the subsidy rate and activating them against your primary line.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      All the more reasons to ditch Verizon. They WILL not change until they are forced to, and that’s when you hit their source of income. However, most will argue that Verizon is all they can get, thus the cycle will continue.

      Even though T-Mobile gives me EDGE where I live, all Verizon has is 3G. After a test last night, Verizon’s 3G service is as slow as EDGE in my neck of the woods. $30 Tmobile plan, you have me.

  • nightscout13

    I still have flashbacks from that horrible keynote Verizon did last night….

    • Warwick

      the one with goodell lol

  • Do you think we’ll start seeing phones with only a 4G modem in them soon then? I’d love to get some better battery life as a result.

    • nightscout13

      They said they will go to VoLTE late 2013, but I think 3G will be left available for a few more years, as a roaming network. But eventually they will probably sell off all their 3G spectrum. Our current LTE phones have the ability for VoLTE, as soon as Verizon starts using the technology.

      • That makes sense. I figured they’d keep the 3G around for a little while. Glad to know we might have one thing to worry about less when picking out a phone next year.

      • zepfloyd

        Well they certainly wouldn’t sell it, they would refarm it for LTE-Advanced and beyond. Also our phones are not yet VoLTE ready. It does have to be supported on a hardware level. Supposedly newer 9xxx series Qualcomm sets should be firmware updatable to support it, but whether Verizon does that or just pushes it with new handsets remains to be seen.

    • zepfloyd

      It will be a long time coming. First of all it’s not really a practical question of a 4G only modem – chipsets today forward are multimode (LTE/GSM/CDMA) in one and will stay that way. The question is when will Verizon not utilize CDMA as a backup for LTE and that’s probably not in the next 5ish years. Remember half their business are still feature phones sold today and all of those are still 3G only.