Verizon currently has the largest 4G LTE footprint in the U.S. with 179 markets. The operator said Thursday that it will add 17 new LTE towns and cities this week.
The list of new areas with LTE service include Little Rock, Ark.; Savannah, Ga.; Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa; Lexington, Ky.; Starkville, Miss.; Kansas City, Springfield and Branson, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; Orange County, N.Y.; Greater Providence, R.I.; Rapid City, S.D.; Roanoke, Va., and Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisc.
Verizon is also going back and expanding LTE service in cities where it has already deployed some 4G radios. The LTE expansions are occurring in Louisville, Ky.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., and Pittsburgh, Pa.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has been updating its high-speed packet access-plus (HSPA+) 3G footprint, marketed as "4G," steadily this year and now reaches 163 cities. The new T-Mobile HSPA+42 markets include Bend, Medford and Corvallis, Ore.; Benton Harbor, Mich.; Bloomington, Champaign-Urbana and Springfield, Ill.; Columbus, Ga.; Hagerstown, Md.; Montgomery, Ala., and Yuba City, Calif.
Why this matters Verizon is continuing to push its lead in 4G LTE services over rival AT&T. T-Mobile, meanwhile, has little choice but to expand HSPA+ as its answer to LTE, no matter what happens with its proposed merger with AT&T.
The faster downloads may be useful for T-Mobile users checking out the brand new Google Music service. T-Mobile's Senior VP of Marketing Andrew Sherrard, said -- at the service's launch on Wednesday -- that mobile audio makes up 15 percent of the current downloads on its network. (See Google Makes Music With T-Mobile .)
For more Read up on the latest 4G plans in the U.S.:
- AT&T Hits 15 LTE Markets, Adds Another Tablet
- 4G World 2011: Who Can Match Verizon's LTE Footprint?
- Verizon Sells 1.4M LTE Devices in Q3
- Sprint to Launch LTE by Mid-2012
- AT&T: Expect More 4G from T-Mobile Buy
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile