Verizon Wireless will expand its faster 4G LTE network to 27 new cities on Thursday, bringing the total to 230 metro areas nationwide and within the reach of two-thirds of the U.S. population.
Verizon was the first of the major U.S. carriers to offer LTE and has a big lead over AT&T, with 38 markets on LTE, and Sprint, which is planning to role out LTE to six cities in mid-year.
Verizon has begun showing TV ads that brag it has six times the geographic coverage of AT&T with LTE. Verizon now offers 20 LTE-capable smartphones, tablets and modems, including the new Lucid smartphone by LG and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.
Verizon said its LTE network speeds on fully-loaded cell towers average 5-12Mbps for downloads and 2-5Mbps for uploads. Outside of LTE areas, devices revert to 3G speeds, often about one-tenth as fast.
In addition to the 27 new cities getting LTE on Thursday, Verizon said it will expand its LTE coverage within 44 existing markets. By the end of 2012, Verizon will offer LTE service in 400 cities, reaching more than 260 million people, the carrier said.
Thursday's LTE activations are in the following locations: Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs and Van Buren, Ark.; Visalia/Porterville, Calif.; Fort Walton Beach and Ocala, Fla.; Brunswick, LaGrange and Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Peoria, Ill.; Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, Ind.; Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend and Hays, Kansas; Salisbury, Md.; Cattaraugus/Allegany, N.Y.; Sandusky, Ohio; Ardmore and Ponca City, Okla.; Salem/Albany/Corvallis, Ore.; Pierre, S.D.; and Big Springs and Tyler, Texas.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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