Verizon Wireless to finish network upgrades by mid-2013

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Verizon Wireless announced Thursday that it would finish expected upgrades to its nationwide LTE network by the middle of 2013.

Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo — who made the announcement at the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom Conference — also said the company’s recent $3.6 billion purchase of AWS spectrum licenses would be used to add network capacity, FierceWireless reported Thursday.

AWS, or Advance Wireless Services, spectrum is a highly prized frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum ideal for mobile voice and data communications.

LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the next generation of high-speed data cellular networks. Verizon Wireless possesses the largest LTE network in the country.

Shammo’s comments came a day after AT&T announced plans to invest $22 billion dollars a year in its network over the next three years, including $14 billion in upgrades for both its wireline and wireless networks.

AT&T, who had previously endured fierce opposition from competitors and advocacy groups opposed to the multi-billion dollar merger with T-Mobile USA in 2011 for fear that reduced competition would have had negative effects wireless market space, instead received cautious praise.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also issued a statement applauding AT&T’s announcement as a confirmation of the policies by which he has directed his agency, which also opposed the merger.

“AT&T’s announcement of billions of dollars in new investment in wired and wireless broadband networks is proof positive that the climate for investment and innovation in the U.S. communications sector is healthy,” said Genachowski.

He stated that the investment “adds to nearly $200 billion of investment in wireless and wireline broadband networks since 2009, and powerful growth in the Internet economy.”

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