Verizon Expects LTE Rollout to be Complete by Mid-2013

Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo said on Thursday that he expected the network's rollout of LTE to be completed by mid-2013. This is ahead of the earlier stated end-of-2013 projection, and it will put the LTE network on par with the carrier's 3G coverage and make it the biggest LTE network in the U.S.

Verizon 4G LTE graphicSpeaking at an investors' conference in New York, Mr. Shammo acknowledged some early service disruptions on the LTE network, but pronounced it stable and reliable today. FierceWireless quoted the executive as saying, "people are massively migrating to that network."

The company now has 14.9 million post-paid LTE devices on its network. At the end of September, around 35% of the carrier's data traffic was being carried on the LTE network. Big Red also claimed coverage of 250 million people or 80% of the U.S. population, with plans to bring that to 260 million POPs by the end of the year.

By comparison, AT&T hopes to have 150 million POPs covered by LTE by the end of 2012, 250 million by the end of 2013, and 300 million by the end of 2014.

In addition, Mr. Shammo shared that the newly introduced Share Everything plans are being adopted more quickly than expected with 13% of customers on the new plans. Customers with shared plans have more than the average 2.6 devices per account. He also acknowledged that some customers have paid full-price for their devices to retain their unlimited data plans.

In other comments, Mr. Shammo touched on industry consolidation and said that Verizon wasn't planning on acquiring smaller carriers. He said that his company now has plenty of bandwidth for the next five years after cutting a deal with a group of cable companies.

In addition, he said he hoped that Windows 8 phones become a third major competitor in the smartphone market, saying,  "When you have competition, then the innovation just elevates itself. I would love to see the Windows [Phone] 8 platform be a successful platform."