said by Jon Geb:
I agree, its a waste of spectrum. 2015 might be too soon, but 2017 gives everyone 5 years. Verizon could just discontinue all phones that lack a LTE radio and in 5 years there won't be any left in the field.
You do realize some people hold onto phones for YEARS. A person buying a non LTE phone in 2012 could still very well be using it not only in 2017 but in 2020.