Verizon to use small cells to supplement LTE

CHICAGO--Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will deploy small cell technology to supplement its LTE coverage and help manage its network capacity. Speaking at the 4G World conference here, Verizon Wireless' executive vice president of network planning, Bill Stone, said that the company is working with vendors to make sure it has the equipment it needs to meet its capacity needs. "Small cells are one way we will keep up with the growth," Stone said.

Stone also talked about the company's plans to eventually migrate to LTE-Advanced. However, he noted that the LTE-Advanced Release 10 and Release 11 standards are still in the process of being defined. "We are a leader in the industry and will forge ahead with LTE, but as far as LTE-Advanced, there is still work to be done," he said.

Verizon now has LTE in 165 markets, covering 186 million POPs. The company plans to have 175 markets covered by Nov. 17, have two-thirds of the country covered with LTE by mid-2012, and finish covering its 3G footprint with LTE by the end of 2013.

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced at 4G World its intent to deploy LTE-Advanced Release 10 in the first half of 2013 as part of its Network Vision project. In addition, Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) has said it will deploy LTE-Advanced technology but the company needs to $600 million in order to do that.

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