Most of Verizon's strategy talk surrounding its long-term LTE plans has conservatively aimed at upgrading all existing coverage areas to 4G by the end of 2013. If we're to believe a CFO Fran Shammo presentation, the carrier may have underpromised and overdelivered: the executive now expects LTE to reach the whole network by the middle of next year, or as much as half a year sooner than first thought. What prompted the quicker rollout wasn't mentioned, although Shammo was eager to point out a surprisingly strong reception to Verizon's (frequently mandatory) shared plans as well as the ample number of airwaves that came from a spectrum transfer deal with cable providers. Having a lot of customers on premium plans with the capacity to support them tends to help with faster expansion, we'd say. No matter the exact reasoning, the shortened schedule could underscore the advantage of Verizon's early start on LTE versus those carriers taking a more relaxed pace.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.