LAUREL, Md., March 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless has activated new fourth generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) network coverage in Franklin County, Virginia with the addition of a new cell site that provides service to the communities surrounding Smith Mountain Lake, including Wirtz, Burnt Chminey, Brooks Mill and Union Hall. Verizon Wireless customers in this area will now be able to use their 4G LTE-enabled devices to surf the Web, post status updates and photos, share music, and download files at speeds up to 10 times faster than customers on 3G networks. "4G LTE is changing the way customers interact with the world via next generation apps, devices and solutions," said Mike Maiorana, Regional President. "By investing in mobile broadband, we're investing in local communities and economies where our customers live, work and travel." Already the largest commercial 4G LTE network in the nation, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network is now available in 486 markets and reaches more than 273 million people – nearly 89 percent of the U.S population. In 2013, the Verizon 4G LTE footprint will completely cover the area served today by the company's 3G network. In addition to offering the nation's largest 4G LTE network, Verizon Wireless also ranks highest among all other national wireless providers in network quality in the Mid-Atlantic Region which includes the state of Virginia, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, Volume 13. Verizon Wireless' ability to maintain this top-ranking in network quality stems from its sustained investment in its wireless network. The company has spent over $80 billion dollars since it was formed in 2000 to increase the coverage and capacity of its premier nationwide networks and to add new services. At the regional level, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $3 billion on wireless network upgrades since 2000, including the $301 million it spent in 2012 alone. Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte for more information about the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network and a list of current markets. For more information on solutions powered by Verizon, visit www.verizon.com/powerfulanswers. About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 98.2 million retail customers, including 92.5 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 73,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.