Verizon to launch LTE in 38 markets this year

SAN FRANCISCO--Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) President and COO Lowell McAdam here at the 2010 CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference announced the carrier's planned launch markets for its forthcoming LTE service. Verizon will launch LTE this year in a total of 38 cities and more than 60 airports, from Seattle to Denver to Boston, covering 110 million POPs. McAdam said the carrier will expand that figure to 200 million POPs by 2012 and more than 285 million by 2013.

Click here for a list of Verizon’s LTE launch markets.The numbers are beyond Verizon's initial expectations; the carrier has previously promised 25 to 30 markets and 100 million POPs by the end of this year.

McAdam provided a few extra details, stating that the network will support throughput in fully loaded scenario of 5-12 Mbps, and latency of 30 milliseconds. McAdam said the throughput speeds are 10 times faster than the carrier's 3G network, and the latency speeds are half of those of the 3G network.

Further, McAdam also addressed the device question. Verizon critics, notably those from rival AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), have said credible, sleek LTE devices will not be available anytime soon.

"That's not the case," McAdam said. "Come see us at CES in January." He said Verizon will have half a dozen LTE smartphones and tablets available in the first half of next year.

However, McAdam did not provide any further details, including when specifically the service will launch this year and what it would cost.

Interestingly, McAdam also provided an update on the carrier's rural LTE licensing program. He said the carrier has reached agreements with five operators for licensing deals, and another dozen in formal discussions. He declined to name any of them.

Verizon announced earlier this year it was in discussions with a number of rural carriers to license to them its 700 MHz LTE spectrum as part of an effort to build out its LTE network. (Verizon paid around $10 billion for 700 MHz C Block spectrum covering the entire continental United States during the FCC's 2008 spectrum auction.) Under the proposed deals, Verizon would license the spectrum to the local carriers for a small fee; the local carrier would then sell the service. Either Verizon or the other carrier would be responsible for the network equipment. Verizon is also looking to strike data roaming deals with the carriers.

For more:
- see this Verizon release

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