Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Is Done With LTE

The race among U.S. wireless carriers to deploy 4G LTE networks has never been close: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Wireless has always led the way by a large margin. One of Verizon’s biggest strategic strengths has been its firm commitment to the technology and its rapid rollout, which started in December 2010. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) was the first carrier to begin offering LTE service.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)

Big Red is now effectively done with its LTE rollout, saying it now has service in 500 markets. The carrier says that 99% of its 3G coverage footprint now has LTE coverage, and 57% of all data on its network is being transmitted with 4G LTE.

Source: Verizon Wireless.

In comparison, primary rival AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has 4G LTE in just 284 markets currently, although Ma Bell markets its HSPA+ network as “4G” as well. Much like in the 3G race, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) positions its network as the “largest” while AT&T touts its as the “fastest.” Just last month, PCWorld and TechHive declared AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s LTE network the fastest in the U.S., based on tests in 20 markets.

The next step is for Verizon to roll out Voice-over-LTE, or VoLTE. The VoLTE deployment has been a long time coming and seen numerous delays. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) had initially planned commercial deployment of VoLTE in 2012, which was subsequently pushed back to 2013, and then again to 2014. The company confirmed today that VoLTE wouldn’t launch until early 2014.

Those delays had hurt network equipment suppliers like Acme Packet, which was later acquired by Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) for $1.7 billion.

The transition to VoLTE is important for Verizon because it will allow the carrier to begin phasing out its older 3G CDMA network and focus solely on LTE, although these types of transitions take many years. Verizon is targeting 2012 as when it hopes to retire its 2G and 3G networks. Verizon’s LTE network currently only supports data, and adding voice to the mix is a necessary next step. VoLTE will also allow subscribers to talk and use data simultaneously, removing an advantage that AT&T has long enjoyed.

Once VoLTE is available, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) can offer LTE-only devices that don’t require as many cellular radios, simplifying their design and reducing costs. In March, CFO Fran Shammo had mentioned that removing the CDMA chip would help reduce subsidies. These LTE-only phones should start hitting the market by late 2014. The carrier is also about to start refarming its PCS spectrum for LTE in order to beef up capacity by 2015.

Since AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)’s “4G” network includes both HSPA+ and LTE, Ma Bell needs to continue building up its LTE coverage before it can even consider moving to LTE-only devices.

In the race for 4G LTE, the first to start was the first to finish.

Want to get in on the smartphone phenomenon? Truth be told, one company sits at the crossroads of smartphone technology as we know it. It’s not Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)… or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)… or even Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)! In fact, you’ve probably never even heard of it! But it stands to reap massive profits NO MATTER WHO ultimately wins the smartphone war.

The article Verizon Is Done With LTE originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Evan Niu, CFA.

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ). The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Oracle.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

Best States To Practice Medicine

The 10 Best States to Have a Business

The 12 Most Expensive Apple (AAPL) Apps in the Market

The 10 Richest Billionaires in the World

10 Biggest Kickstarter Failures

The 10 Best Places to Work At

The Top 10 of Google Inc (GOOGL)’s Most Expensive Acquisitions

13 Best Cities to Visit in South America

10 Most Expensive Works of Art of All Time

The 10 Richest Banks in the World

The 10 Best-Paying Jobs in America (2014)

7 Most Expensive Foods in the World

The World’s Top 10 Earning Authors

Five Wicked and Very Expensive Items (and Other “Stuff”) Sold on eBay

10 Biggest Celebrity Bankruptcies

The Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs in 2014

The 10 Most Expensive Real Estate Cities in America

10 Most Expensive States To Live In America

The 10 Best Airlines in the World

The 10 Best-Selling Cars in 2014

The 10 Best Industries to Invest In

The 10 Most Expensive States to Own a Car In

Top 10 Business Schools in US: 2014 Rankings

Top 20 Female Billionaires in 2014

6 Movies That You Should Watch to Better Understand The Cold War

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2014

Top 6 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top 6 Tax Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Top Businesses to Invest In

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!