Fall Into 4G: AT&T Adds 13 New LTE Markets

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has just launched 13 4G LTE new markets in the US, bringing its total count to 437 towns and cities with the faster mobile data technology.

The markets announced Wednesday are:

  • Tuskegee, Ala.
  • Bloomington-Normal, Ill.
  • Decatur, Ill.
  • Pontiac, Ill.
  • Lewiston-Auburn, Me.
  • Hickory, N.C.
  • Jacksonville, N.C.
  • Sanford, N.C.
  • McAlester, Okla.
  • Adjuntas, P.R.
  • Gillette, Wyo.
  • Jackson, Wyo.
  • Sheridan, Wyo.

Here's where US operators stand with their 4G deployments now:

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) 437 18.6 Mbit/s
Cricket (Leap Wireless) LTE 11 3-15 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 2-15 Mbit/s (depending on market)
Sprint LTE & WiMax 185 LTE, 71 WiMax 10.3 Mbit/s
T-Mobile LTE (Also markets HSPA+ as “4G”) 154 markets 25 Mbit/s (on unloaded network)
U.S. Cellular LTE 92 markets Up to 10 times faster than 3G
Sources: Carrier data, Light Reading, OpenSignal, RootMetrics

Why this matters
AT&T is adding LTE markets faster than a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. It has switched on 40 live markets since early September, busting through its original target of -- cough -- 420 markets by year's end.

The towns and cities being added are apparently small as the operator continues to say that it covers 240 million potential customers despite adding these fresh hamlets to its footprint over the month. A spokesman says that AT&T expects "to cover nearly 270 million people with 4G LTE by the end of this year."

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DanJones 10/11/2013 | 1:41:51 PM
Re: what cities? We're already at the town or small town level. Hickory N.C. has population of under 40,000, Gillette, Wyo is under 30,000, Jackson is under 10,000.
Sarah Thomas 10/11/2013 | 1:34:19 PM
Re: what cities? Does hamlet mean rural areas, or is AT&T counting farm animals in its totals? That'd explain it... :)
DanJones 10/11/2013 | 1:32:53 PM
Re: what cities? Yeah, I'm just not sure there are many cities left for AT&T to cover so they have to get to the number by bringing LTE to the hamlet.
Sarah Thomas 10/10/2013 | 11:59:57 AM
Re: what cities? 30M more isn't a huge target, relatively speaking. When it only partially covers a city, does it include the entire population in its pops covered? If not (and it probably shouldn't) then going back through to fill in gaps could help up its numbers even without new cities added.
DanJones 10/9/2013 | 7:33:33 PM
what cities? What cities does AT&T need to add to hit the 270M target?
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