Despite the carrier’s efforts and major LTE network rollout, only 5% of the Verizon customer pool is taking advantage of the blazing speeds, says the company. This comes as a disappointment, but Big Red has committed to a 4G-only smartphone selection in 2012. And that number is sure to increase soon.
Verizon Wireless was the first US carrier to bring 4G LTE’s blazing speeds to Americans. With the anniversary taking place last December, the carrier has taken over most of the country. Surely, you have seen all the new markets being added continuously, and Big Red’s 4G LTE territory now covers over 200 million citizens.
Also, Verizon claims that all 3G markets will be covered by 4G LTE by 2013. This means that pretty much the whole country will run on these faster, more efficient (for the carrier) data speeds. Verizon has a clear advantage over all the other carriers, at least in regards to 4G LTE. But that does not mean the competition won’t be fierce as other carriers start deploying their own LTE networks.
This is why the company is trying to invest in 4G LTE for a world free of 3G speeds. The older network received a big enhancement last year, right before the release of the almighty iPhone (which does not have 4G capabilities). But Verizon is no longer interested in investing more resources in said network.
It is very critical for us, and we’re playing a very delicate balancing act here that I don’t want to spend any more money on my 3G networkFran ShammoChief fFinancial Officer of Verizon Communications Inc.
As small as 5% sounds it is a rather large number, adding up to 4.4 million users. This is out of the 87.4 contracted customers that signed up in 2011. But as mentioned above, Verizon is planning to release only 4G LTE smartphones from now on, so we are surely in a transition. Soon, all smartphone customers will be signing up for LTE blazing speeds.
As a 4G LTE customer, I must say that it is a great service, but the experience hasn’t been perfect. We sure hope all of these 4G LTE drops are resolved. For the same reason, it is unclear if Verizon is ready for a country-wide LTE explosion just yet.
Shammo also mentions that Verizon is planning to invest $3.9 billion in spectrum from cable companies. This might improve everything, but we still have to see if the purchase is approved. Smaller (and not-so-smaller) carriers like T-Mobile and MetroPCS are trying to stop it.
Here comes 2012 and 2013, guys. And some major changes are taking place in the mobile industry. Let’s see how things work out in the near future and pray that all these new 4G LTE customers don’t overload the towers too much. Is your next device going to be a 4G LTE smartphone? Would you rather keep things retro and stay with 3G speeds?