June 27, 2013
Verizon 4G LTE Launches In 500th Market, Company Plans LTE-Only Devices

Verizon Wireless has just launched its 500th 4G LTE market, and now the company is looking forward to launching 4G LTE-only smartphones. The company will launch the phones when it rolls out the VoLTE network.

Reaching its 500th market means Verizon has completed its initial 4G LTE build-out.

Speaking recently about the company's focus on 4G technology, Verizon chief network officer Nicki Palmer revealed that the cost for creating LTE devices is decreasing. While the cost to acquire the devices is being rapidly reduced, Verizon Wireless must still switch over enough users to VoLTE supported devices before it flips the switch.

Palmer notes:

"We will get this right, our brand is built on reliability. We will want to go big with this, we're working aggressively now."

The only device offered by Verizon Wireless, which requires a 4G LTE connection is the Samsung Galaxy Camera, a gadget that does not feature phone capabilities.

VoLTE, Voice-over-LTE, is currently being tested by a small group of Verizon users. While testing is currently underway, the system is not expected to go live until an undisclosed time in 2014.

When VoLTE is ready for mass use, Verizon will roll the system out in a large number of markets simultaneously. The roll out plan is different than past efforts that have relied on city-by-city testing.

While VoLTE relies on a data connection to make phone calls, it also allows users to take advantage of internet data usage while on phone calls.

Verizon Wireless' current LTE market coverage reaches far enough to cover 298 million people across the United States. Verizon currently covers 99 percent of its existing 3G footprint with 4G LTE coverage.

Alaska will join the company's other 49 states in gaining 4G LTE coverage next month.

Are you ready to jump from a traditional CDMA/4G device to a 4G LTE system powered by VoLTE?