PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless invested more than $186 million in network enhancements across its Philadelphia Tri-State Region, which comprises central and eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, in 2012 to expand 4G LTE coverage and speed the deployment of other advanced technologies for its customers. This is the ninth consecutive year the company has invested more than $100 million in the region. The company's network investment in the Philadelphia region now totals more than $1.6 billion since 2000. The rapid rollout of 4G LTE, which launched in the Philadelphia region in December 2010, now covers 94% of the region's population and will continue to grow in 2013 with 4G LTE technology scheduled to cover the company's entire nationwide footprint by the middle of the year. "In the two years since we first launched 4G LTE in the Philadelphia region and across the country, the '4G LTE ecosystem' has expanded from a few smartphones and laptop modems to include dozens of smartphones, tablets, mobile hotspots, modems and machine-to-machine devices," said Mario Turco president of the company's Philadelphia Tri-State Region. "Even more exciting for our consumers and business customers is that more devices and applications that run on the 4G LTE network are being developed every day. Our continuing aggressive investment in 4G LTE technology and other enhancements to our local network will ensure our customers have the very best technology at their disposal when they use their wireless devices." New and expanded 4G LTE markets added in 2012 included the surrounding counties of Philadelphia; Lehigh Valley, the Jersey and Delaware shore areas; Lancaster- York, Pa., Reading, Pa., Pottsville, Pa., Stroudsburg, Pa., Sunbury, Pa., Williamsport, Pa., and Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, Pa. All told, Verizon activated in excess of 600 4G LTE sites in the region last year and will continue to expand and fill in coverage in 2013. Verizon 4G LTE is available in all of Philadelphia Tri-State's major markets as well as at virtually all major regional airports including, Philadelphia International, Harrisburg International, Lehigh Valley International ( Allentown), Lancaster, and New Castle ( Wilmington). 4G LTE coverage will reach the Atlantic City Airport with a network expansion in mid-2013. Verizon Wireless also enhanced the state-of-the-art Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park, so Philadelphia sports fans can experience enhanced wireless service reliability and access to the company's 4G LTE and 3G mobile broadband networks. The Verizon 4G LTE network is available to more than 273 million people across the U.S. – close to 89 percent of the U.S. population.