Verizon Wireless is aggressively building its 4G LTE network across the same footprint that is currently covered by its nationwide 3G network, which – according to the company — covers more than 90% of the U.S. population.

The company has just informed that, “in order to provide access to this 4G LTE network to more of the U.S. population living in rural areas,” they plan to work with rural companies to collaboratively build and operate a 4G network in those areas using the tower and backhaul assets of the rural company and Verizon Wireless’ core LTE equipment and 700MHz spectrum.

Verizon is seeking companies that can assist in bringing 4G LTE service to rural areas that currently lack Verizon Wireless coverage. According to the company, they may work with rural companies that have towers and backhaul capabilities, even if those companies are not currently wireless operators.

Verizon plans to launch their 4G LTE network in 25 to 30 markets late in 2010, covering approximately 100 million people. They say they’ll double that in 2012. They also plan to cover their entire existing 3G footprint with 4G LTE by the end of 2013.

Verizon’s 4G LTE network will be backward-compatible with their existing 3G network. That means the two networks will co-exist and services will be integrated between LTE and our 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev. network.

The company claims that with Verizon Wireless’ 10 + 10 MHz implementation, LTE will be supporting average data rates per user of 5-12 Mbps in the forward link, and 2-5 Mbps in the reverse link. LTE will enable video application on the downlink as well as uplink – including, but not limited to video-sharing, surveillance, conferencing and streaming in higher definition than is possible with existing 3G technology today.

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