Verizon wasn’t lying when it said it planned to have its 4G LTE network covering the vast majority of its 3G network by 2013′s end. Indeed, the company has smashed that goal by just under half a year, with the 500th market launching in Parkersburg, West Virgnia today.
Verizon says this makes the network “substantially complete” as more than 99% of its current 3G deployment is now covered by 4G LTE. That gives nearly 300 million Americans access to the high speed data network that Verizon has been building out since 2010.
With that, Verizon knows its work isn’t done. The company is still gearing up to begin upgrading their systems to support VoLTE, and it is expected to upgrade its deployment to LTE-Advanced at some point in the future.
Verizon didn’t provide any new information about those efforts in today’s announcements, but we imagine it won’t be long before Big Red is feeling chatty again. So go ahead and celebrate, Verizon customers — the world’s largest 3G network is now joined by the world’s largest 4G network, and Verizon can safely say its role as a leader in wireless coverage extends into this new generation of mobile data.