Jun 27 AT 11:42 AM Nick Sarafolean 11 Comments

Verizon reaches 500 LTE markets, VoLTE and LTE-only phones coming next year


While the commercials like to say that “America runs on Dunkin”, a more appropriate phrase might be that America runs on 4G. It’s one of the biggest features in our smartphones and as a carrier, Verizon takes LTE very seriously. Verizon was the first of the US carriers to begin building a 4G LTE network and they’ve now become the first to complete a 4G LTE network. The latest LTE market to be switched on, Parkersburg, West Virginia, became Verizon’s 500th LTE market and the last in their initial LTE rollout.

Verizon says that their LTE network now matches up to over 99% of their 3G network, allowing it to reach more than 298 million people. To put that number in perspective, that’s 95% of our entire population. Verizon still holds an unprecedented dominance in the LTE coverage game. But with this 500th LTE market also came some other big news for Verizon. They announced that their VoLTE technology will be ready next year and that they’re working “very aggressively” to get it ready. VoLTE means that rather than having to have separate radios for the different networks that Verizon uses for voice and data, everything can be done over LTE. It also doesn’t require a rollout but instead is turned on at the same time across the entire LTE network.

VoLTE will allow LTE-only phones to be created to work on Verizon, and Verizon says that these phones should be available sometime next year. Our guess is that they will launch alongside the VoLTE network. LTE-only devices will most likely be cheaper, thinner and have better battery life because they need only one cellular radio inside them. Verizon Chief Network Officer, Nicki Palmer, mentioned that in the future when the 3G network is unused, Verizon could repurpose the spectrum for 4G uses. She also mentioned that Verizon has a plan to help network congestion but didn’t go into much detail.

Finally, Verizon talked about LTE-Advanced technology and Palmer said that they would be a leader in the LTE-Advanced market. But she then said that LTE-Advanced is actually more of a collection of enhancements, features, and standards. Nonetheless, Palmer said that Verizon will employ these features and enhancements when they are needed.

This is a massive amount of news coming from Big Red today that’s going to have a big impact on the market in the year to come. We’re excited to see what all they do with VoLTE because there’s a lot of potential with the technology. What do you guys make of the news? Are you excited for VoLTE?

Via: Droid Life (1), (2)
Source: Verizon, CNET

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

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  • KSAT

    Not so sure about this move toward VoLTE. I have serious distribution concerns about how shutting down CDMA network will impact capability of these phones. Today, as I sit in my living room, a mere 10 feet away from an outside wall of my home, I am unable to receive ANY LTE 4G signal and therefore, can not send/receive any 4G data connection and can not even get a CDMA signal, for that matter. And TXT messages come in only when I get a little closer to an outside wall.

    Killing off CDMA will definitely be a good thing, overall…I still believe Verizon needs to increase power to infiltrate homes and not tell consumers to purchase additional hardware. A JetPack won’t do any good since I can’t even get a signal to begin with! And, I shouldn’t have to rely on my local Broadband connection for Verizon Wireless signals. I, personally, do not find this acceptable.

  • Conrad

    I can’t wait for VoLTE only! Now the other carries need to catch up so all phones can be switched between carriers.

  • snowbdr89

    Here in Utah verizons lte is slooooooow

  • Aaron Hernandez

  • Andre

    Wow, that’s huge for Verizon – I think AT&T will be able to keep up/ catch up, but this sounds like a big problem for Sprint! Sprint is really just starting to get their network upgraded and I’m just not sure how much longer their subscribers (such as myself) will be willing to wait for their network enter the 21st Century.

  • redraider133

    I am interested to see how this works and hopefully it will lead the way for unlocked phones and no longer being at the mercy of the carriers. Hopefully they will offer new plans to match it and be more reasonable price/data wise. Then again it is verizon we are talking about lol. Hoping tmo and sprint can somewhat match this, maybe put some pressure on verizon and make them change their ways.

  • Dennis

    Good information

  • donger

    Verizon is going in the right direction.

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