LAS VEGAS--Pretty soon, pointing out 4G LTE on a Verizon smartphone will become an exercise in redundancy.
From now on, nearly every smartphone, wireless hot spot, tablet, and Netbook that Verizon offers will come with LTE guns a-blazing. Yes, Virginia, that includes Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices, too.
There will be the occasional exception, however. For instance, phones on Verizon's push-to-talk network are 3G-only for now, and will remain that way until further notice.
Verizon's clear, unyielding stance on 4G--"a hard requirement," according to Verizon--may partially explain why it has picked up only one Windows Phone so far.
It isn't that Verizon is exclusively an Android and iPhone shop. In fact, Keith Lampron, Verizon's associate director of device marketing, assured CNET that Verizon has every intention of supporting Windows Phone in the future. Perhaps handsets like the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900, just announced this week at CES, will inspire Verizon to add a couple more handsets of its own.
So far, Verizon hasn't just been winning the LTE race; it's been trouncing the competition at every turn--buying up spectrum, releasing high-quality handsets, and rolling out its network at a faster pace.
Big Red says it's on track to complete its LTE infrastructure by the end of 2013, according to Lampron, who added that where there's EV-DO network now, there will soon be 4G. Verizon currently covers 190 markets and 200 million people with LTE.
Although Verizon clearly has the country's largest LTE network, it hasn't been immune to network instability, experiencing three outages in December alone.
That's an issue that Lampron is taking in stride. "We're paving the way here for the rest of the world on LTE," he said.
With AT&T and Sprint galvanizing their own LTE networks, Verizon will see ever-fiercer competition on the LTE smartphone front.