Verizon Wireless has revealed that it plans to complete its 4G LTE network deployment by the middle of 2013. As noted by Fierce Wireless, this is six months earlier than Verizon's prior predictions that said it would be complete by the end of 2013. The carrier says that it will match its nationwide 3G CDMA coverage with the LTE service, giving all of its customers access to the faster network. The news was revealed by Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo during an investor conference on Thursday.
On Wednesday, we had heard about AT&T's intentions to cover 300 million residents with LTE by the end of 2014, but Verizon's plans put it a full year and a half ahead of its competitor. Verizon already says it will cover 260 million residents by the end of 2012, with the rest of the population being covered by the middle 2013 target.
During the conference, CFO Shammo noted that while Verizon's LTE network did face some early problems with outages, it is now much more stable and reliable than before. He did not say when the carrier plans to use the recently acquired AWS spectrum that it bought from a consortium of cable companies for LTE service, but that it will be used to augment the LTE service that Verizon is offering on other bands. Unsurprisingly, Verizon says that it plans to pursue options to buy more spectrum as they come up, though the FCC's current rules on how much spectrum a single carrier can own may prevent it from acquiring much more.