Verizon Wireless has accelerated its initial LTE rollout to 38 US cities, ten more than previously planned.
It also expects to start selling the iPhone from early 2011, breaking AT&T’s stranglehold on the device in the US market.
Verizon, the no.1 US operator, plans to build its network to 110 million people in 38 cities by the end of 2010. Previously it had targeted 100 million in 30 cities.
Announcing the speeded rollout at CTIA, chief operating officer Lowell McAdam said he expected six LTE devices to be available.
The new network would offer average download rates of from 5-12 Mbps, with 2-5 Mbps on the uplink, he said.
Separately, Verizon will begin selling the iPhone 4 customers from early next year, WSJ reports.
The CDMA version of the iPhone will go into mass production by the end of the year and would be released in the first quarter of 2011, the paper said.
The move to end its exclusive partnership with AT&T comes as Apple comes under heated competition from Android, the world’s fastest-growing mobile OS and the biggest-selling in the US.
AT&T has had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone since it debuted in 2007, but has attracted frequent complaints from users over patchy network coverage and poor download speeds.