AT&T Aims High With 420 LTE Markets

AT&T wants to take you higher with 4G, unveiling a new target of 420 markets covered with LTE by year's end on Wednesday morning.

The operator today named 50 new towns and cities it plans to have the faster 4G data technology deployed in by year's end. It also added five new markets to its current count, bringing the total live with LTE to 370. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) says that this means its LTE footprint now covers 225 million potential customers in the US. (See What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)

The new markets live today are:

  • Ruston, La.
  • New Bern, N.C.
  • State College, Pa.
  • Georgetown, S.C.
  • Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Here's where all the operators now stand with LTE deployments:

Table 1: 4G LTE Markets in the US

Operator 4G technology Number of markets Average download speeds
AT&T LTE (Also markets HSPA+ as “4G”) 370 Average of 18.6 Mbit/s downloads
Cricket (Leap Wireless) LTE 11 3-to-15 times faster than Leap's 3G
C-Spire LTE 40 markets up; 3 more coming soon Data speeds up to 10 times faster
MetroPCS LTE 30 markets 2 Mbit/s-15 Mbit/s (Depending on market)
Sprint LTE & WiMax 151 LTE; 71 WiMax Average of 10.3 Mbit/s download
T-Mobile LTE (Also markets HSPA+ as “4G”) 116 markets                                           Average of 25 Mbit/s downloads (on unloaded network)
U.S. Cellular LTE 30+ markets Up to 10 times faster than 3G
Verizon Wireless LTE 500 markets 14.3 Mbit/s average download
Sources: Carrier data, Light Reading, Open Signal, RootMetrics

Why this matters
AT&T had previously said that it intended to cover 400 markets by the end of this year. Now, chasing Verizon Wireless , Ma Bell has upped that target to -- cough -- 420 markets. Like Verizon, AT&T will consider its rollout to be complete when it hits 300 million potential customers covered. A spokesman for the company says the latest update will bring it to 270 million Americans covered. (See Crowd-sourcing 4G LTE in the US.)

For more

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 8/21/2013 | 11:31:07 AM
One thing to remember... A covered LTE market is rarely fully covered when it initally goes live. 
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