Verizon's LTE network 'substantially complete' with 500th city

Verizon this morning announced that the fine folks of Parkersburg, WVa., are the proud recipients of its 500th 4G LTE market, and that the rollout of its high-speed data is "substantially complete," blanketing 99 percent of its network. Verizon says more than 95 percent of the U.S. population — some 298 million people — have access to its LTE network. (Though obviously they're not all Verizon customers.)

Some 57 percent of of data Verizon served up is done over its LTE network.

So what's next? Verizon at a press event said its Voice Over LTE network — VoLTE — will start up in earnest in late 2014 with its first all-LTE smartphone. That will mark the beginning of the end of CDMA, though that's going to be a long wind-down. We're talking years.

Source: Verizon (opens in new tab); More: GigaOm

Phil Nickinson
  • *Substantially
  • Maybe a dumb question, but the death of cdma makes me wonder about something. I'm in western Kansas, and while most of the cities do have LTE, there are still plenty of spots on the highways that I completely lose data connection or it's 3G. What will happen to those areas when/if I purchase a phone that's LTE only? Will those 3G spots just become dataless spots?
  • If you have a phone that's LTE only and you can't receive LTE, then you lose your voice and SMS as well as your data. Right now your voice is over the CDMA and if you lose LTE but still can receive the CDMA signal, you can still call and text. For LTE only phones, everything is over LTE and if you don't have LTE, then you don't have anything.
  • But the flip side is that they aren't going to be introducing LTE only phones until some time in 2014, and you can bet they won't be pushing LTE only phones as hard as they pushed LTE phones, I'm sure their will be plenty of CDMA/LTE hybrid phones available for many years the shutdown of cdma on Verizon isn't planned until like the end of this decade or maybe early in the 2020's I think. And they are still selling the 3G network as prepaid now, CDMA while on it's way out, still will be around for several years, and just because they claim it's substantially complete doesn't mean they aren't still rolling out LTE and improving coverage, that's one thing you can always trust Verizon to do, and you pay dearly for it.
  • Yes and its important to remember that what Verizon is crowing about is the conversion of the existing cel sites to support LTE. Once this is done they are going to deploy thousands of mini cel repeaters to extend coverage in mmarginal coverage areas. Verizon has never stopped improving their network and doesn't plan to.
  • "that's one thing you can always trust Verizon to do...." LMAO. Well that rollout must be on a donkey or something - maybe a turtle - in my area. Haven't had USEABLE voice or data from Verizon Wireless for about 25 years and LTE will likely never get here. I live out in the sticks and am essentially invisible to Verizon regardless of how red their coverage map is.
  • What is your LAT/LONG and I will check it out. It is unusual for Verizon to show good coverage on its maps without a reasonable tower presence to back it up.
  • Good, now get started on the VoLTE rollout so you can drop CDMA and start getting more phones on your network (ahem, Nexus)
  • Not before patching up the rest of the holes LTE leaves behind in the wake of dead CDMA.
  • I completely agree. I can go to different parts of my house and depending on where I am, it switches haphazardly from 4G to 3G. So either the signal has to be amped up or we have to have some kickass radios on the phones...
  • Too bad those kickass radios are going to require new battery technology unless we want to be constantly looking for a power outlet to recharge our phones.
  • Almost every highway inbetween cities and large townships are 3G. I drive from St.Louis to Chicago and 85% of the highway is 3G. Every highway I travel in Missouri is the same as well as in Kansas. So if you break down in the middle of no where what then with an lte only phone? The regular cell towers are different from the 4G lte towers, unless they came up with some miracle work around, which I doubt or they would of done it already.
  • Moving away from CDMA to LTE-only doesn't have to mean anything for Verizon's policies for letting non-sanctioned devices on its network. Don't think for a second that moving to VoLTE will suddenly make Verizon a different or more "open" network. Its still completely reliant on their policies. Posted via Android Central App
  • But being an open network one of the stipulations for purchasing the 700Mhz frequency? Dont think they have a choice on that.
  • Not all of Verizon's network will run on 700MHz, and where it does it won't run on just 700MHz. Verizon knows very well (and has shown thus far) how it can get around those regulations. If they want to stop people from joining its network with unapproved devices, it will.
  • So on a scale of 0 to dead, where do you put my dream of an LTE only nexus on VZW? :/
  • What you say here and in the reply actually contradicts this article from android police. Can you give some more details and maybe sources of why you are right and they are wrong? This might actually be a goon topic for an article.
  • Sorry, but CDMA is not the reason you will likely never see another Nexus on Verizon. It's about control over the particular device in terms of branding and software.
  • When are they going to make it faster, my friend has Verizon LTE and I have AT&T, everywhere AT&T is much faster he gets 5-6 mbps compared to my 50mbps, even area's where I didn't have LTE his Verizon was getting the 5-6 mbps and AT&T's HPSA+ was still hitting 8-10mbps
  • I was just going to say when am I going to get the advertised speeds.
  • LTE seems very inconsistant in Phoenix and surrounding area's. At work I can't get even 1 meg but 3 miles away at home I get 30 meg.
  • VZW LTE was great for the first 6 months here in St.Louis. I got speeds of 15 down and 10 up for the first 6 months, then dropped to 12/6, 10/4, and now is 8/2. Verizon needs to reinforce their network than doing the bare minimum to label an area "covered." St.Louis has 800 sq miles, 2 million people and only 7 LTE towers for St.Louis city and St.Louis counties not including the regular towers they use. And the speeds are worse than my home wifi
  • Im also in Phoenix and experience the same exact issue! At work is the most parking spot I receive 2-3 meg per second and only a few feet away in the smoking area, I get 30-40? Thought it was a one time fluke but demonstrated for a few friends on different days and this smoking area seems to be a hot spot, lol, I once got it up to 50+!
  • They announced that they have started rolling out additional capacity on AWS spectrum recently. Congestion and slower speeds are the result of gaining millions of customers. Also 8-10mbps on AT&T HSPA+ isn't universal, in NJ I'm often lucky to get 2mbps on AT&T HSPA+ , luckily they just deployed LTE here and my S4 arrives friday :)
  • I still find large areas of 3G and 1X where their maps show solid LTE coverage. Plus in my area Verizon's LTE is slower than HSPA+ on AT&T or T-Mobile, let alone their LTE. I should have learned my lesson the last time I picked Verizon, their coverage maps in my area are a complete lie and their price is ridiculous. Plan on going back to AT&T next week, using the new $60 GoPhone plan. Their HSPA+ coverage was rock solid, and I got 30-40mbit on LTE.
  • I think Verizon's LTE network is becoming a little congested. Posted via Android Central App
  • Why would anyone buy an LTE-Only phone? Just enable VoLTE with fallback to CDMA.
  • Because no one wants a Nexus on Verizon, right? Posted via Android Central App
  • There's no guarantee that having an LTE only network on Verizon will magically make Nexus' available on the network.. just sayin.
  • I'm perfectly ok with LTE-only, so long as Verizon finishes patching up all the little holes and such in the LTE coverage of their network. They've made great strides in rolling it out to just about everywhere, but there are still 3G areas I go through on a regular basis.
  • They may offer some phones that have a CDMA chip that you can fall back to, as well as LTE only phones, which will get them newer handsets quicker (the reason I'm currently a GSM user)
    But honestly for many people like me in NJ, lte is comprehensive, for people closer to cities and most of us don't travel to the sticks, they currently never see their phones drop to 3G anymore. Actually, I've sworn off Verizon until they deploy LTE only phones and they can get some better phones, even then I doubt I'll be a customer as they charge too much for what they offer.
  • The idea is to have a simpler and more power-efficient phone by only having to deal with LTE. And presumably Verizon wouldn't begin selling LTE-only devices until its LTE network perfectly mirrored its CDMA one. Posted via Android Central App
  • They have not designed their network to allow VoLTE trade-off to CDMA. It will not be possible. Doing so had disadvantages. They are choosing the path that takes the most advantage of LTE technology at the cost of less compatibility with the current network. That disadvantage is moot due to the rapid roll-out of LTE. Hopefully by the time VoLTE comes, you wont miss CDMA at all.
  • People have to remember that only Verizon towers are LTE equipped. If your "roaming" on a competitor tower then you can still be on 3G.
  • So where can I go to tell them to make the coverage at my house better? Posted via Android Central App
  • This article just makes me think, God I feel bad for the people in that last city that bought an LTE handset early, as now all Verizon phones are LTE and had to wait on LTE to be deployed in his city, you know when he say articles about how Verizon's LTE coverage is stellar and more than all competitors combined and almost complete, he was cursing, when do I get it. lol
  • Sometimes I still get 3G instead of LTE on Verizon. I live in Davis, CA.
  • So another way to read this is that if you currently don't have LTE in your area, you are now officially screwed?
  • Not at all. Just because Verizon says it's covered 99% of its network doesn't mean it won't cover 100% and work to improve the areas it has already covered. Posted via Android Central App
  • A VOLTE phone would be great if (for now) it had a dormant CDMA antenna for when it is absolutely necessary. Posted via Android Central App
  • These bastards are dragging their feet, VoLTE should be rolling out this year. I wish the FCC would do something about this, everyone knows these jack offs are just trying to delay the agreement they made at the 2008 spectrum auction. Posted via Android Central App
  • They are not just dragging their feet. Since hand-offs from VoLTE to CDMA are not possible they want near complete LTE coverage before offering it. Otherwise you would be criticizing them for too many dropped calls.
  • So what they're saying is that 43% of their data is still 3g. Doesnt sound like theyre covering tooo well to me. Especially when I live in Phoeni X and just about all our coverage is still 3g.
  • Not everybody has an LTE phone. It is not a coverage issue.
  • I live in Phoenix also and I drive all around the valley on a daily basis, I rarely drop to 3G. I would say that 90% of the time I'm on LTE with my Galaxy Note 2 or the iPhone 5. Still 3G speeds are great. I don't regret one bit switching from sprint 6 months ago.
  • So about the ATT brag having the largest LTE network...
  • They claim the largest "4G" network, not the largest LTE network. This claim includes HSPA+ as part of their "4G" network which makes it larger than Verizon's. Verizon considers only LTE 4G (which is technically right) and therefor claims the largest 4G network is theirs. Basically, it's all semantics and marketing. The companies are using the definitions that fit their interests.
  • "Technically" they are both marketing terms used in advertising campaigns to drive revenue and get people on older "3G" phones to upgrade. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's a lie due to the fact that my phone doesn't get 4G LTE where I live and the next city over it does...