Today Verizon announced it will launch service in its 400th LTE market on October 18th. Verizon has has a significant LTE coverage lead over AT&T and Sprint. Its goal is to mirror Verizon’s entire 3G network with 4G LTE by the end of 2013.
Verizon says it has 11 million of its post-paid customers on its LTE network and is currently available in more than 300 markets, covering 75 percent of the US population. The company has introduced 37 different LTE devices to consumers since the launch of the network, and their LTE network accounts for 35 percent of Verizon’s total data as of the end of September, and expects that soon the majority of its traffic will happen over LTE.
AT&T’s 4G LTE is now live in 76 markets and expects to be largely done with its LTE rollout next year.
Sprint’s FD-LTE network launched in July in a handful of markets. The company says its LTE network is underway in more than 100 additional cities within its existing nationwide 3G footprint and expects to cover 123 million POPs by year-end, although coverage at rollout is minimal say critics. Sprint is currently using its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum. Sprint is ramping up an LTE picocell deployment strategy with an initial focus on indoor deployments followed by outdoor deployments in 2013-2014. Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio metrocell architecture and Samsung’s small cell gear will play a role, says Fierce Wireless.
T-Mobile’s 4G network is currently restricted to HSPA+. T-Mobile is refarming its 1900 MHz spectrum for HSPA+ services so it will work with the iPhone, but will use their AWS spectrum (1700/2100 MHz) for LTE next year. T-Mobile has selected Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks as its primary infrastructure vendors for its forthcoming LTE network. T-Mobile said it expects to be the first carrier in North America to deploy antenna integrated radios, integrating the radio and the antenna, to reduce power consumption and space on cell towers.
Both AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless chose Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as their primary LTE vendors. Sprint Nextel, meanwhile, chose Ericsson, Alcatel-lucent and Samsung as the three main vendors for its Network Vision network modernization plan.
IDATE forecasts there will be more than 830 million LTE subs worldwide by the end of 2016. Of these, Asia-Pacific will represent 37.2% of the total, North America 23.8% and Western Europe 16.9%.