Verizon Wireless has reached an important milestone in its 4G LTE buildout, today announcing that its 500th market is now online. This comes after the carrier crossed 400 markets in October. Verizon now covers more than 298 million people, or more than 95 percent of the U.S. population.
"We consider our initial 4G LTE rollout complete," said Nicola Palmer, Verizon's chief network officer. The 500th market is Parkersburg, West Virginia, giving Verizon a substantial lead over other wireless providers.
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AT&T currently covers 291 markets with 4G LTE, while Sprint's footprint is about one-fifth the size of Verizon's at 110 markets. T-Mobile is way behind with a measly 7 LTE markets.
Verizon's 4G LTE network now covers more than 99 percent of its 3G network. The carrier is skipping right over 3G to 4G LTE in parts of Alaska, such as Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. Service will go live there in July, giving Verizon coverage in all 50 states.
To keep up with our insatiable data appetites, Verizon will light up its Advanced Wireless Services spectrum during the back half of this year to add capacity to its 4G LTE network. And in 2014 Verizon will launch Voice over LTE, which promises a richer voice experience.