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Only 5% of Verizon customers have switched to LTE

Only 5% of Verizon customers have switched to LTE
Verizon Wireless has been the first one in the US to launch a truly fast and comprehensive 4G LTE network across most major markets, but a year after the launch still only a fraction of customers have transitioned to it. 

Verizon Wireless CFO Fren Shammo admitted that only 5% of customers are on LTE right now. Verizon’s 4G network covers 200 million Americans and there are nearly 20 devices supporting it. Obviously this leaves the network uncongested now and allows more promotions to lure users.

At the same time, Verizon has put a huge marketing effort in LTE, and recently we’ve seen a couple of “Double Your Data” promotions where users get to download more for the same value.

Shammo explained that the 3G network Verizon built was made so that the carrier could handle the launch of the iPhone, but except for that the carrier wants to keep that investment at the absolute possible minimum. Big Red is trying hard to balance the sums it spends on 3G low and push 4G quickly, since that’s where the big returns are. 

Additionally, AT&T and Sprint are rolling out their LTE networks too, which will tighten competition.

Verizon Wireless’ CFO also expressed his confidence over a deal with cable operators which will buy Big Red 122 AWS spectrum licenses for $3.6 billion:

“We see no issue with them closing this out by midsummer. And it's exactly where we expect it to be.We knew who was going to oppose it, no surprise there. So we're exactly where we thought we would be and we're expecting this to come to closure by midsummer.”

source: Verizon (PDF) via WSJ 

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posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:32 4

1. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

well... LTE is fairly young, and most LTE phones are over the $200 standard price for a phone also how many Verizon customers actually have a smartphone? not more than 60% do they?

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:42

5. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

You are soooooo out of touch and soooo poverty stricken if you are griping over a $200 price point. Go get yourself a Flip phone at T-Mobile on their "Value Plan", then [dangle preposition]…

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 08:04 3

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I'm sorry to disappoint you, I pay full price for my phones (unlocked) every one in here knows that already so i do not care for that what you call price limit I buy the phone I want and use in the network I please, but its good to take in account that people may hesitate and consider when buying a prone. also how many Verizon customers are still in dumb phones? DID you actually sat and understood my post at all? to me it seems you didn't

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 08:22

10. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

I must be on drugs because I couldn't understand most of what you were trying to convey through your broken grammatical syntax; please re-write [in English]?

Thank you.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 11:01

18. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Oh that's too bad.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 15:36

23. robinrisk (unregistered)

proto, have you considered that when the difference between an unlocked phone and a carrier one is more than US$350 its better to purchase it in a contract?

The ETF on most smartphones is 350 dollars, and you usually do not cancel within the first 6 months, so the etf would be fairly below 350, which would make buying carrier branded phones cheaper than unlocked ones, even if you assume that you are breaking your contract within 6 months.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 20:28 1

26. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I know, but sometimes the phone I want is not on the carrier I like, and I make the sacrifice of getting it unlocked so I can choose the best signal and service on a phone I love. Here if I go with my phone, the company cant charge me a fee for break up plus I get 25% discount on my bill for simply going on a new line with a phone that its not from them(offer)

I pay 50 a month for service for a 18 month deal (what I have now) 50*18= 900 -25% = 675 that math makes me happy because 900-675= 225 in savings I can use for my next phone (Nexus Hopefully) yes I might be short 125 at best but for the phone I like + service I like + no bloat... totally worth it

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 09:46 6

16. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Money probably grows on trees for you,or perhaps you have a royal title of some sort,say The Duke Of Douchebag??? The one out of touch is you,buddy. Look around,massive unemployment with foreclosures braking new records daily,and gas and food prices skyrocketing. But never mind,you probably don't see any of that in your gated community. By your use of the term "Price Point",you are in the industry. Well so am I,and things are bleak.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 11:37

20. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Why do the disenfranchised always take a self-righteous stance? It'a absolutely nauseating.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 13:33 2

21. thephoneguy92 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Yikes PAPINYC, not often do you see someone spew such arrogant nonsense openly and as proud as you. You truly are a misuse of the earths resources.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 09:07 1

12. BigRed83 (Posts: 144; Member since: 19 May 2008)

Another part of the delay in switching to 4G for existing dumbphone customers is the elimination of unlimited data. If you're on a dumbphone, and want an iWhatever or Droid, you get hit HARD in the wallet. Add their already ridiculous pricing for their "service", not to mention their unique billing practices, you get a $30/month minimum albatross for 2 years. Not everyone wants that commitment in this crappy economy. Some people just use their (gasp) computer to go online.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 11:05 2

19. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I have a friend in twitter. He was outraged a phone cost 250 . He said is 200 too much. When he heard I pay 500 for a phone he nearly went ballistic on me. I think is how many users think when they see a 200+ tag on a smartphone plus the cost of the data plan and other costs, for many is not that easy

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 13:58

22. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 525; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)

exactly, the cost of the phone is only part of it. 250 may not be much upfront but that 250 added on top of the 180/mo just to keep the service... things start to look unbalanced

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:33 2

2. JimiMack (unregistered)

I would love to help increase the customer base on LTE but first Big Red needs to make it available. I am just miles east of NYC and no LTE available here, and it is the same for most areas around the US, juts outside the cities not having the service available.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:34 1

3. ronjr123 (Posts: 88; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)

That's funny, everyone I know must be in that 5% then.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 09:09

13. BigRed83 (Posts: 144; Member since: 19 May 2008)

Do you know more than 4.7 million people? Imagine that spread out amongst primarily urban areas across the country. VZW wants immediate and mass consumption of the 4G koolaid for the grandparents using a kitchen phone. That's why they're disappointed.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:38

4. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Sounds like "Shammu" from Seinfeld and he must be on drugs or I am living in a 4G bubble. There are definitely more people (than just 5% ) on Verizon's 4G; there have got to be. Shammu is smoking something. Everyone I know has a 4G phone or that thing that works only on wi-fi with duct tape.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 08:08 2

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

for starters do you know how many Verizon customers there are?

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 08:44

29. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)

so you and all 5 of your friends make up for more than 5% of Verizon's LTE customers?

im sorry to hear that ;)

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:49 2

6. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

when the iPhone goes LTE that'll go up a good bit.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 07:53 2

7. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

Actually, won't have any effect since it only works on iWiFi.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 08:46 1

11. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

I guess you have to take into account of Verizon has such large customer base. A lot of them are probably older people who either are still using Blackberry through work or flip phone that they got way back when they first signed the contract. We have to look past our social group to see there are still a lot of people out there using a phone can only call and text.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 09:16 2

14. JunitoNH (Posts: 1936; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Believe it or not, only 44% give or take a few, of Verizon customers use a smartphones. It has nothing to do with the prices of phones. Is the mere fact feeling ripped off with data packages. Personally, I own a tablet, laptop, and several desktops. There isn't anything so urgent can't wait, until I get to a wifi connection, nor do I have the desire to look up info. on a 5" screen. Rather take money spent on data packages, save it, and use on a trip to Punta Cana or Bermuda. I just want a "phone" with excellent connectivity to keep in touch with friends and family, period. As they say, to each his own. p.s. unless something has changed data = $30/ 2G, $20 txt unlim. + voice

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 15:37 1

24. robinrisk (unregistered)

Punta cana FTW! Its cheap and beautiful and fun over there!

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 20:38

27. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

indeed :)

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 09:28

15. hmcougar09 (Posts: 137; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

I think if we got LTE on the next iPhone, then this percentage would grow.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 10:54

17. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)

There are so many advantages to LTE for both the consumer and Verizon. Especially, since LTE is cheaper to operate. It makes sense why they want to push it. Also, double the data allowance and faster speeds. Everybody wins.

5% is shockingly low. However, it's still early. We will see a jump once it hits smaller markets and the iPhone goes LTE.

posted on 28 Feb 2012, 15:39

25. robinrisk (unregistered)

I dont think 5% is that low, LTE has not been around for a long time, a lot of people have not had their upgrades yet, the iPhone 4S came out this quarter and honestly, there are a lot of s**tty LTE phones, without taking into consideration the Nexus, RAZR and maybe the Rezound.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 03:59

28. roscuthiii (Posts: 2266; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

Made the move to Verizon's 4G here an loving it so far. But... I was grandfathered in on unlimited data and had $50 off on my next upgrade. Took advantage of the recent Razr BOGO offer to upgrade me and my girlfriends phones. So for $250 (a little over $270 really with taxes & surcharges, etc) I got 2 Droid Razr Maxx's and unlimited 4G LTE service.
I was skeptical over whether I'd notice the difference between 3G and 4G but yeah, definitely a noticeable increase in speed. I think too many people wasted what was left of the NE2 program to upgrade to 3G phones like the iPhone, Incredible 2, Droid 3, & Fascinate. Not that they're bad phones per se, but I held off on rushing out to upgrade as soon as possible and reaped much better benefits for it.

posted on 29 Feb 2012, 11:18

30. drizzo311 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Mar 2011)

I have absolutely no desire to have an enormous brick of a phone in my pocket with little to no battery life. I have been waiting for Phone manufacturers to produce something that isn't intended to be mounted on a wall.

I just do not understand why there isn't one phone manufacturer (on Verizon, at least), who can make a phone that has a screen smaller than 4.3" (other than the Droid 4, which is 4.3" thick with a terrible screen).

I just feel that the manufacturers are CONVINCED that all phone customers desperately need a huge screen if they are moving to 4G, and there seem to be few alternatives (or rumors) of devices that do not incorporate this feature, especially not high end devices.

I want 4G, but do not intend to incessantly watch movies on the phone. Someone please produce a phone to include this segment of the market. It makes me pine for the days when Will Farrell was making fun of shrinking cell phone sizes on SNL while holding a miniature device. No longer...

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