Verizon Wireless is promising to add 59 more markets to its 4G LTE network by the end of 2011. That would bring its total to 147 if you count the 39 markets launched in December and the 49 more the carrier promised at Januarys Consumer Electronics Show.
“Our commitment to reach deep into medium-sized cities and smaller communities by the end of 2011 means the power of 4G LTE can be harnessed and provide advanced services to law enforcement, healthcare workers, educators, and other professionals, as well as to individual consumers, sooner than many thought possible,” said David Small, chief technical officer for Verizon Wireless.
The carrier is starting to roll out its first 4G smartphones, beginning with the HTC ThunderBolt, which launched on March 17. A suite of smartphones, tablets, hotspots and more are supposed to come by mid-year. Verizon Wireless says in real-world, fully loaded network environments, 4G LTE users should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 Mbps on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.
The company also says it is working with rural communications companies to collaboratively build and operate a 4G network in those areas using the tower and backhaul assets of the rural company and Verizon Wireless’ core 4G LTE equipment and premium 700 MHz spectrum. Six rural companies already have signed on to leverage the carriers scale for infrastructure.
Verizons LTE network is already available in some of Americas biggest cities, including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Denver and Washington, D.C.