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Sprint Adds 45 New 4G LTE Markets

Dan Jones

Sprint expanded its LTE footprint to 45 new markets Tuesday, and it finally delivered the new 4G service to Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, NY.

The new markets include Pensacola, Fla.; and Tallahassee, Fla.; Spokane, Wash.; and Lexington, Ky. Here's how Sprint stands compared to the other major players 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 230 LTE, 71 WiMax 10.3 Mbit/s
T-Mobile LTE (also markets HSPA+ as 4G) 223 markets 25 Mbit/s (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
Sources: Carrier data, Light Reading, OpenSignal, RootMetrics

Why this matters
Sprint is back in the race with T-Mobile US Inc. to take third place in US coverage with LTE. T-Mobile recently expanded to 223 markets, but Sprint now has more markets covered again.

However, there's one important figure missing in the Sprint 4G race. The carrier, unlike its rivals, doesn't reveal the number of potential customers it covers in the US. Light Reading double checked the number again with a Sprint spokeswoman Tuesday. "We have not provided an update on POPs covered," she told us.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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10/31/2013 | 10:05:10 AM
Re: PoPs: The question
Yep, 200M Pops covered by year's end on 1.9GHz LTE, they said on the Q3 call.
10/30/2013 | 9:45:14 PM
Re: PoPs: The question
As you note in your Sprint earnings story this week, it sounds like Sprint is trying to add more coverage desnity to its markets, so maybe it eventually will start talking about POPs.
10/29/2013 | 10:03:55 PM
Re: PoPs: The question
I expect T-Mobile will announce at least a few more markets before the end of the year.
10/29/2013 | 7:45:58 PM
Re: PoPs: The question
Wouldn't be surprised, Dan. Do you expect T-Mobile to strike back now? Or havre they reached the saturation point now? 
10/29/2013 | 5:27:30 PM
PoPs: The question
Is it possible they don't actually know exactly how many potential customers they're covering if they're launching when markets go live with 45-50% covered?
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