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Verizon taps Detroit for 1st LTE expansion

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 7:30am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Verizon Wireless says it will launch its LTE network in Detroit, Mich., tomorrow, marking the company's first expansion since its initial LTE launch in December of last year.

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Verizon will turn on LTE services covering more than 80 percent of the population in the metropolitan Detroit area and several suburbs, including Dearborn Heights, Grosse Pointe, Pontiac and Wyandotte.

"Metro Detroit: Welcome to the future," said John Granby, president of Verizon Wireless' Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky region.

Interference from a television broadcast station in Canada has affected much of the metropolitan Detroit area. Verizon says it has resolved the issue, allowing it to launch its LTE network in Detroit.

The Detroit launch brings Verizon's LTE network to 39 metropolitan areas across the country. The company says its next-generation mobile broadband services will cover two-thirds of the U.S. population by mid-2012 and will blanket its entire 3G footprint by the end of 2013. The network averages real-world speeds of 5 to 13 Mbps on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.

Verizon's only other 4G competition in Detroit comes from T-Mobile USA, which upgraded its HSPA+ network in the area. Clearwire has yet to turn on its WiMAX network in Detroit, but it offers WiMAX service in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint, Mich.

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