July 30, 2014
But according to research, LTE in the U.S. is lacking. In one study, while the U.S. ranked highly in average time spent on 4G LTE, the star spangled state also ranked almost dead last in average 4G LTE network speeds (for these results, see The State of Today’s Global LTE Environment).
Since that study, however, major U.S. carriers have improved LTE nationwide – a trend that continued through Q2 (according to early carrier earnings).
Currently in the top spot for LTE and overall performance, Verizon is no exception. The carrier reportedly spent about $2.8 billion on wireless capital expenses in Q2, increasing LTE capacity by layering an advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum with its existing 700MHz network, as well as working to improve localized coverage.*
And looking ahead, Verizon expects total 2014 capex to stay somewhere between $16.5 billion to $17 billion*, with a decrease in capital spending as a percentage of total annual revenue.
Quarterly numbers paint a promising picture for Verizon. According to the carrier, more than 75 percent of its network data traffic now uses 4G LTE – a number that is expected to keep growing.
In addition, Verizon activated 2.3 million new LTE devices on its network during the quarter (of which 1 million were smartphones and 1.2 million were tablets).
Finally, Verizon cites the importance of tablet growth, as the carrier currently has 5.4 million monthly contract (postpaid) customers with tablets on the network (for more about postpaid subscribers in 2014, see Major U.S. Carriers Face More Subscribers, Less Revenue). And tablets are just one facet of the rising LTE device market, which doubled its growth in the past year.
Of course, increased data consumption will eventually require more bandwidth for fast data services (for more about ever-increasing wireless data usage, see Data Revenue Finally Exceeds Voice Revenue in the U.S.).
Essentially, however, the idea is that any costs to improve data services will pay off in increased revenue.