Verizon 4G LTE Coverage Reaches Its 400th Market
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
When considering a wireless carrier, the coverage map is often more important than any number of other bells and whistles. Throw 4G LTE service into the mix, and those maps quickly become fairly confusing. Now, Verizon Wireless is making moves to expand its 4G LTE coverage and will reach its 400th market next week, further expanding the area that its high-speed network covers across the U.S.
On October 18, Verizon will make its 4G LTE service available in Marquette, Michigan. The installation will become the 400th market reached by the carrier’s 4G LTE service. The launch is part of a group of 21 new markets on the same day as Marquette, which will bring service to a total of 417 markets. Verizon will hold a celebration in Marquette next Thursday when it flips the switch on service for the market. Celebrations will also be held in additional cities surrounding the milestone launch.
Verizon is two months ahead of its goal to have 4G LTE in place in 400 markets by the end of 2012. Roughly 245 million people — or four out of five — Americans will have access to Verizon’s 4G LTE network once the company reaches its 400th market.
“This milestone and the growing success of our 4G LTE network signal that we at Verizon Wireless are keeping our commitment to our customers to provide them with the very best mobile broadband experience in the nation with the breadth and depth of our coverage as well as the quality of our service,” said Nicola Palmer, chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless.
“With 4G LTE technology so widespread and still growing, our customers can travel throughout the United States with a consistently outstanding 4G LTE experience enhanced by a growing number of LTE-enabled products and services.”
Not all of Verizon Wireless’ customers are on the 4G LTE network. The company said that at the end of September, more than 35 percent of the company’s data traffic was being carried on the 4G LTE network. The remainder of the company’s traffic remains on their legacy 3G networks or other services.
So what does a service that encompasses 400 markets across the U.S. look like? The Verizon Wireless map shows that the country is mostly covered with 3G network service, with some dark areas scattered around and concentrated primarily in the West. The 4G LTE coverage blanket is fairly concentrated in the Eastern half of the country and some coverage areas dotted along the West coast, as well as major metropolitan areas in the Western part of the country.
Since the introduction of the 4G LTE network on Verizon Wireless 22 months ago, the company has introduced 37 new 4G LTE-enabled devices including smartphones, tablets, personal Wi-Fi hotspots and other devices.
While Verizon’s map appears to leave out portions of rural areas across the country, Verizon is making efforts to reach beyond major cities. Verizon Wireless’ LTE in Rural America program includes participation from 17 rural carriers.