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Verizon plans to double 4G LTE coverage by end of 2012

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Just two days after AT&T announced 4G LTE expansion plans, Verizon announced a plan to double the amount of 4G LTE in the United States by the end of the year. Verizon already operates in approximately 200 markets around the country while rival AT&T is looking to reach 40 markets by the early summer and 150 Americans by the end of 2012. Targeting at least 400 markets by the end of 2012, Verizon believes that the 4G LTE network will be able to offer service to over 260 million Americans across the country. Furthermore, Verizon Wireless CTO David Small repeated the company’s strategy of only releasing 4G LTE compatible smartphones for the rest of 2012 according to an interview with the Wall Street Journal

4g-phones-verizonOn Thursday, March 15, Verizon will roll out 4G LTE service within:

  • Dothan, Alabama
  • Enterprise, Alabama
  • Naples, Florida
  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Altus, Oklahoma
  • Durant, Oklahoma
  • Longview, Texas 
  • Marshall, Texas

Also on Thursday, the wireless provider plans on expanding existing 4G LTE coverage to more effectively cover more sections of

  • Elkhart, Indiana
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Motorola-Droid-Razr-Maxx-SquareColumbus, Mississippi
  • Northern New Jersey
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Duncan, Oklahoma
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Hilton Head, South Carolina
  • Cleveland, Tennesse
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Kenosha, Wisconsin 
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.

While more than a third of smartphones sold during the fourth quarter of 2011 were 4G according to a report from NPD, Verizon has only drawn five percent of customers to the faster LTE network. However, the amount of people shifting to the new network will increase rapidly as more 4G smartphones are released and the 4G network expands to new markets. In addition, the upcoming launch of the new iPhone, currently rumored for release this summer when iPhone 4 early-adopter contracts expire, will definitely provide a boost for Verizon. In a related story, a new report from independent mobile carrier analyst firm Rootmetrics showed that Verizon’s LTE service dominated AT&T’s network within Los Angeles in regards to data network speed.