Can you see them coming? Verizon Wireless test men and women are going to be monitoring not only the carrier's own LTE network, but the high-speed data networks of its competitors, as well.

The company today announced that its fleet of test vehicles is being equipped with 4G testing and monitoring equipment to encompass all of the major operating networks in the United States. The fleet includes about 100 test vehicles.

Using testing equipment from Ascom, Verizon Wireless test men and women are performing mobile data tests on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network as it continues to rollout across the country. Verizon is conducting 4G data tests in more than 140 cities where its LTE network is deployed and says it will expand LTE testing into new markets as they launch. 1X voice and 3G data testing continues in all markets. 

The collected data will be used to measure network performance, benchmark against competitors and assist Verizon Wireless network engineers who are responsible for maintaining and planning improvements and expansions of the company's network.  

Back in 2000, Verizon Wireless test men and women measured fundamentals about voice call performance. Now the carrier conducts tests to determine whether a data session connected, how quickly the connection was made, whether it stayed connected and how quickly data was transmitted during the connection.

Separately, Verizon says its network scored tops in 22 major U.S. markets, as measured by RootMetrics, in the categories of Combined Performance and Data Performance.

In October, RootMetrics bestowed its Combined Performance and Data Performance awards upon Verizon Wireless in Cleveland and Dallas. Over the past six months, Verizon Wireless received RootScore Combined Performance and Data Performance awards in 20 additional cities: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.