Verizon to blanket 'one third' of America with LTE this year, double coverage in 15 months

Remember when we heard that Verizon Wireless just might be able to bump its commercial LTE rollout to the first quarter of 2010? Man, talk about having our hopes and dreams dashed. Here at CTIA, we heard a few details on the company's most up-to-date deployment plans, and it sounds like things are pretty well locked into place at this point. Tony Melone, the company's Senior Vice President and CTO, seemed remarkably enthused that a bona fide LTE network would be launching "in the not too distant future," and when pressed for specifics, he stated that they would launch "25 to 30 networks this year, covering one third of America by the end of 2010." Beyond that, we're looking at a footprint twice that size "15 months" after the initial rollout, and by the end of 2013, the company's 4G coverage map will be the same size, "if not larger," than its existing 3G map. Of course, the carrier insisted that they wouldn't be abandoning 3G advancement while being fixated on 4G, noting that it was moving "fast and aggressively" on both fronts, with hopes that its LTE network would eventually eclipse even the 3G networks (in terms of coverage size) of competitors. Them's bold words, VZW, and we'll be carefully watching to see if that really does come to fruition.