The LTE buildout timeline: Where U.S. carriers will be in 3 years

Mike Dano

The U.S. wireless industry has clearly coalesced around LTE network technology. All of the nation's major carriers are either building out the technology or planning to. Indeed, in some cases (think Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR)) they're switching over to LTE from a different network technology.

But where is LTE in the United States headed? Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is clearly in the lead now, but where will Verizon sit in two years? AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is struggling to catch up, with plans to cover 70 million people with the technology by the end of this year. And Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) too plans to get into the game next year via its own spectrum, Clearwire's spectrum, and possibly LightSquared's spectrum as well.

And what of the smaller players? Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP), C Spire Wireless and others have also committed to LTE. Where will they stand next year and the year after?

Finally, how will all these players stack up against Dish Network, which has promised an LTE-Advanced network? And LightSquared, which continues to work toward its own LTE network despite continued concerns over GPS interference?

To see exactly what each of the nation's top carriers has promised in terms of LTE, check out our U.S. LTE buildout timeline. You'll find details on what each carrier has publicly committed to in terms of coverage and spectrum. +Mike Dano