Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Verizon Wireless LTE Road Ahead: 35% of Data Now on LTE

Currently 35% of data traffic handled by Verizon Wireless is carried over the LTE and the company expects to pass the 50% milestone soon, said Nicola Palmer, vice president of network and chief technical officer for Verizon, speaking at MobilCon in San Diego.

Palmer announced that Verizon Wireless is running ahead of schedule in its LTE rollout. By next week, the service will be available in 417 markets across the United States, covering about 75% of the population.  So far, the company has introduced 37 4G LTE-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets, personal Wi-Fi hotspots and more since the network launched 22 months ago.

Palmer said the iPhone 5 introduction has gone smoothly and that the company was prepared for the expected surge on the LTE network.

Some other notes:
  • Verizon Wireless expects to start using its new AWS spectrum in some cities by the middle of 2013 using its same cell sites. Technical trials are underway.
  • Verizon Wireless is looking forward to LTE-Advanced as one of many tools for managing capacity on the network. The same is true for small cell architecture.
  • Seventeen carriers have signed-up for the companies LTE in Rural America program.
  • 11 million customers were on the LTE network as of the end of September
  • LTE is coming into the home via the carrier's HomeFusion Broadband solution.
  • VoLTE tests have been underway for a while and the company has deployed equipment to support this capability.  The company is excited about Rich Communications Services and HD voice.  Commercial launch is possible by the end of next year but no date has been given.