U.S. Cellular is now aiming to have 4G LTE in 133 towns and cities by the end of 2013.
"4G LTE service has been deployed in 92 markets, and will be in 133 markets by the end of the year," a spokeswoman for the operator tells us. "Currently, 61 percent of U.S. Cellular customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 87 percent are expected to be covered by the end of the year."
The operator has previously said that it expects to invest more in LTE, thanks to money from spectrum sell-offs.
Here's how U.S. Cellular Corp. (NYSE: USM) now stacks up in the 4G LTE race:
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”)||397||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||92 markets||Up to 10 times faster than 3G|
|Verizon Wireless||LTE||500 markets||14.3 Mbit/s average download|
|Sources: Light Reading, carrier data, OpenSignal, RootMetrics|
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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading