January 07, 2011, 5:16 PM — Verizon Wireless will expand its LTE network to more than 175 cities by the end of this year, the company revealed at the International Consumer Electronics Show that has also seen aggressive network plans by AT&T and T-Mobile USA.
The LTE (Long Term Evolution) network went live for commercial service last month and is now in 38 markets, reaching about one-third of the U.S. population, Chief Technology Officer Tony Melone told an audience at the trade show on Thursday. After adding the roughly 140 markets this year, Verizon will double its reach within 18 months of launch, reaching 200 million people, and will cover its entire national footprint with the new technology within 36 months, Melone said. (See Melone talk about the network plans on YouTube.)
The network news was somewhat overshadowed by Verizon's unveiling of 10 separate LTE devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and portable Wi-Fi hubs, that will go on sale within the next few months. But amid the deluge of cool hardware at CES, mobile operators have also been revealing newly aggressive plans for the networks that will link subscribers' new gear to the Internet.