In case there were any doubters, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) would like to reiterate that it's still on track to meet its goal of bringing LTE coverage to more than 400 U.S. markets by the end of 2012.
The company is unveiling LTE service in markets today for a total of 337 LTE market launches so far. Verizon said it is also expanding LTE service in 32 other markets today. Its nearest competitor on the LTE front, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), has introduced LTE to 47 markets, while Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) this past weekend launched LTE service in five major metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City (in both Missouri and Kansas) and San Antonio. It also launched service in nearby markets, including: Athens, Calhoun, Carrollton, Newnan and Rome, Ga.; Fort Worth, Granbury-Hood County, Huntsville, San Antonio and Waco, Texas; and St. Joseph, Mo.
T-Mobile USA, the nation's fourth-largest mobile operator, is in the midst of a $4 billion network upgrade program that will allow it to deploy LTE next year on its 1700 MHz spectrum while retooling its 1900 PCS spectrum for improved GSM services and HSPA+ services, with the latter starting to migrate to 1900 MHz later this year.
"We are confident we will meet our target of providing 4G LTE to our customers in more than 400 markets by the end of the year," said Nicola Palmer, CTO of Verizon Wireless. "With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds."
The 33 markets getting LTE service from Verizon are: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
In real-world, fully loaded network environments, Verizon says its LTE customers should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.
Sprint's customers can expect real-world average downlink speeds of 6-8 Mbps with peak speeds of up to 25 Mbps, and average uplink speeds of 2-3 Mbps, according to Sprint spokeswoman Kathleen Dunleavy.
- see this Verizon release
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