Verizon is aiming to make all of its smartphones LTE devices, as the carrier builds support for its next generation network.
The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier will add only LTE-capable smartphones to its network moving forward. It is “a hard requirement,” according to Verizon, for manufacturers hoping to have their devices on the carrier’s network.
Verizon’s decision to only add LTE smartphones to its network will likely push some phone makers to include the technology sooner than later. Microsoft, which has struggled to gain support from Verizon, already announced two LTE-powered phones that will likely find their way to the network at some point this year.
Adding only LTE smartphones on Verizon’s network will likely be good for customers and the carrier alike. The more LTE devices in the carrier’s catalog, the less expensive they’ll be, allowing for more widespread adoption of phones that support the 4G network.
Verizon likely wants as many LTE phones in customers’ hands as possible to take an even larger lead on its closest competitor, AT&T, which will roll out its very first LTE phones in the near future. On the other hand, urging more customers to use LTE phones is expected to create network demand, potentially making it difficult for the carrier to sustain service.
The carrier has had trouble keeping its LTE technology online. Verizon’s LTE network has experienced issues two times in the past six months, leaving millions of customers without access to 4G speeds.
A transition to nothing but LTE smartphones will open the network up to more traffic, leading to more possible issues for Verizon, but the carrier appears confident those troubles are behind it.
Verizon’s LTE infrastructure not slated for completion until the end of 2013, so the company’s decision to push for nothing but 4G phones may seem a bit premature.
However, if Verizon can put LTE handsets in most of its customer’s pockets by that time, the carrier will likely be the first make a complete transformation to a 4G-only provider, an edge it bets is worth the potential pitfalls of the strategy.