One of the top priorities at Verizon Wireless is becoming the second mobile carrier to offer high-speed 4G coverage to its customers across the country as soon as possible. Verizon President Lowell McAdam said this week that the company has upped the ante, increasing its goal of bringing LTE 4G to 38 cities by the end of the year.
If all goes as planned, 110 million Americans in major areas and those traveling through or working at 62 airports will have LTE access by year’s end, 200 million by the middle of 2011, and 285 million by the end of 2013.
While the initial LTE rollout will be for laptops and other mobile devices, 4G smartphones will quickly follow. Currently there are only a handful on the market, made by HTC and Samsung and sold by Sprint Nextel for its WiMAX 4G network. MetroPCS has also announced some 4G phones for its growing 4G network.
A 4G iPhone
So it seems unlikely that the nation’s largest carrier by subscribers would want to roll out another high-profile 3G phone early next year. With the company reportedly having struck a deal with Apple for a CDMA-capable iPhone — which The Wall Street Journal said will be manufactured by Pegatron in Taiwan — speculation is high that it will be the first 4G iPhone.
3G-capable iPhones are top sellers in the market, with some Wall Street analysts believing Apple will announce record sales of more than 11 million for this quarter in its Oct. 18 earnings call. Those sales can only soar higher with a second carrier in addition to AT&T, and a Barclays Capital analyst is projecting Verizon will sell nine million iPhones in 2011.
But if reports of a Verizon iPhone early next year are true, the 4G market may not be ready.
“The LTE rollout is under…