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John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

After Just Two Years, Nearly Half of Verizon’s Data Traffic Is on LTE

Lowell McAdam

Asa Mathat / AllThingsD.com Lowell McAdam

In his keynote speech at CES this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam observed that it was back in late 2010, during a similar keynote, that he touted the launch of the company’s then-new 4G LTE mobile data network. Now, just two years later, nearly half of the carrier’s overall data traffic is transmitted over it.

That’s a jaw-dropping metric — particularly since it was just three months ago that Verizon revealed that 35 percent of its data traffic traveled over LTE. Nearly half of all data routed over LTE in only two years — 15 percent of it added since October.

The trend couldn’t be more clear. LTE and the data speeds it offers are fast evolving from option to necessity. They’re being woven into the fabric of consumer expectations.

And if you don’t quite buy that argument, consider this: About 23 percent of Verizon subscribers had LTE handsets at the end of the fourth quarter. That’s up from 16 percent in the third. And 85 percent of the company’s postpaid net adds for Q4 purchased LTE devices.

So, not only is Verizon converting more longtime subscribers to LTE, most of its new subscribers are starting out on LTE. That’s good news for Verizon, which is simultaneously reducing strain on its 3G network as it moves more subscribers over to LTE, which should drive higher data revenue.

Verizon’s stated goal is to sunset its 2G and 3G networks by 2021. Given the growth in LTE subscribers the company is seeing, there’s no reason to think it won’t make it.

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