Verizon Wireless (VZ) subscribers are taking full advantage of the carrier’s ultra-fast and widely available 4G LTE network. The company revealed in an interview with Fierce Wireless on Thursday that nearly half of its data traffic travels over its high-speed network, a significant increase from 35% in October. Earlier this week, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced that 23% of the company’s wireless subscribers were using an LTE smartphone at the end of the fourth quarter, an increase from 16% at the end of the third quarter. The executive also revealed that of the 2.1 million postpaid subscribers the company added in Q4, 85% purchased an LTE device.
Mike Haberman, vice president of network engineering for Verizon Wireless, said the company’s 4G LTE network now covers 273.5 million people, or roughly 89% of its U.S. footprint, across nearly 500 markets. He also said the company’s LTE reliability is roughly the same as its CDMA network, although he declined to provide specific statistics, adding instead that Verizon plans to match its 3G footprint with 4G by the end of the year and complete its LTE buildout by the middle of 2014.