Verizon Wireless continues to push its LTE coverage across the country, with plans to also expand services across its high-speed network.
The carrier this week announced that its LTE network was now available in 473 markets covering 273.5 million potential customers, or approximately 89% of its legacy 3G footprint. Verizon Wireless noted that it plans to have near parity with its 3G footprint by mid-year with full coverage by year end.
While Verizon Wireless still maintains coverage leadership in terms of LTE, rival operators are quickly catching up. AT&T Mobility has said it expects to have near-nationwide coverage by the end of the year, while Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA are also expected to have a substantial portion of their current 3G footprint covered with LTE by the end of 2013.
As for what it wants to do with its LTE network, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam told attendees at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the carrier was looking to expand opportunities in healthcare, machine-to-machine applications, connected cars and mobile video.
In support of its mobile video plans, McAdam said that the carrier was looking into possibly setting aside a channel on its LTE network dedicated to video streaming. That offering would take advantage of multimedia broadcast multicast service standard recently approved by the 3GPP, with Verizon Wireless currently dubbing the service LTE Broadcast. The carrier said it was working with Qualcomm’s Labs division on a solution, which would make sense as Qualcomm was a pioneer in dedicated broadcast steaming services with its now shuttered MediaFLO offering.
Earlier this week, McAdam told attendees at an investor conference that the carrier posted a company record 2.1 million direct postpaid net customer additions during the final three months of 2012, adding that 85% of devices sold by the carrier during the quarter were smartphones, which should help drive growth in average revenue per user.
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