Rumor Mill: Verizon boosting LTE coverage target for this year

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to cover more POPs with its LTE network by the end of this year than it has previously disclosed, according to the blog IntoMobile, which published what it claims are previously unknown details about the carrier's LTE launch.

According to the blog, which cited an unnamed source, Verizon plans to cover 115 million to 120 million POPs with its LTE network, more than the 100 million target it has previously discussed. The blog also reported Athena and Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth and Weatherford, Texas; and much of the eastern portion of Massachusetts will get LTE this year. Verizon has not announced where it will launch the service this year, other than to say it is testing LTE in Seattle and Boston.

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment on the IntoMobile report.

Verizon has previously announced it will expand LTE network coverage to more markets throughout 2011, and will double the number of its LTE markets to between 50 and 60 markets 15 months after in its initial launch. Verizon plans to have its 3G footprint filled out with LTE by the end of 2013.

Last week, photos  leaked on the blog Boy Genius Report of an LG-made LTE dongle for Verizon Wireless. Verizon has previously indicated that its first LTE devices will be dongles, and that handsets will be coming to market next spring. Verizon expects users to achieve real-world LTE downlink speeds of 5-12 Mbps and uplink speeds of 2-5 mbps.

For more:
- see this IntoMobile post

Related Articles:
Rumor Mill: Verizon rolling out LTE SIM cards, new global hotspot
Rumor Mill: Verizon launching LTE network Nov. 15
Verizon launching LTE user trials in 5 cities
Verizon smartphone customers consume 600-800 MB per month
Verizon to launch LTE markets in Q4