Verizon sold 4.5 million LTE devices last quarter

If you needed proof that Verizon is the leader in LTE, here it is.

The carrier announced that it sold 4.5 LTE-compatible devices in the most recent quarter. That is nearly 70% of all of its smartphones. And when you look at just the Android side of things, 88% of all Android purchased were LTE devices. Of course, it wasn’t until the iPhone 5 that Apple’s phone started incorporating LTE so most iPhone sales are still 3G only.

The carrier also confirmed that its LTE network now reaches a whopping 250 million people, far outpacing any of ther other major carriers.

Of course, to be fair, Verizon has about an entire year head start over its competitors.

When it comes to 4G, Verizon was late to the game. Sprint was the first to the market with its Evo 4G phone that came out more than two years ago.

But Sprint’s network was powered by a standard called Wimax, which was significantly faster than the previous 3G network infrastructures but not nearly as fast as LTE.

AT&T and T-Mobile, meanwhile, launched their 4G services on a completely different standard known as HSPA+, which was inferior to Wimax so Sprint still dominated the game for a while.

But then Verizon finally entered the 4G market, and because it took the time to wait it was able to launch an LTE network from the outset. It quickly leapfrogged right ahead of all its competitors.

Now, AT&T and Sprint are both playing catch-up as they ditch their HSPA+ and Wimax networks to set up their own LTE infrastructures.