US mobile giant Verizon Wireless will flip the switch on its long-awaited 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network on Friday 7 June, achieving coverage of every US state in the process. The company has revealed that its coverage area will extend from Anchorage to Fairbanks, North Pole, Juneau, Eagle River and the Matanuska-Susitna region, encompassing a majority of the state’s population. Further, Verizon will start selling LTE-capable devices in Alaska on 1 July. However, for the remainder of the year, 4G connectivity will be restricted to data-only devices, with LTE-capable smartphones not anticipated until 2014.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, chief rival AT&T Mobility turned on LTE network in Anchorage in September 2012, with Alaska Communications (ACS) following suit in October, when it went live in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Verizon’s own launch has been a long time coming; in August 2010 the company filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to acquire the LTE-suitable 700MHz C Block spectrum licence covering Alaska from Triad, a designated entity that purchased the licence during the watchdog’s 2008 700MHz spectrum auction.