Verizon Wireless customers in several cities around the country may notice that things are a little faster on their smartphones. Verizon is announcing today that it is expanding the reach of its 4G LTE network, adding 29 new markets, including Selma, Alabama, Clarksburg, West Virgina, Flagstaff, Arizona and Port Angeles, Washington. This brings the total of U.S. markets covered by the company to 470.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a wireless standard for high-speed data for smartphones and data terminals. It’s based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, and it was designed to increase the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. Verizon powered up its 4G LTE network in 38 U.S. cities in December of 2010.
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With the new expansion of its 4G LTE network, the company’s service is now available in a total of 470 markets in the U.S., covering more than 250 million people, according to PC Magazine. Verizon isn’t alone, however. Competitors AT&T and Sprint also announced expansions of their own 4G LTE networks recently. AT&T boosted its ultra-fast 4G LTE network in five U.S. cities and expanded coverage in four other areas. Sprint also added new coverage areas for its 4G LTE network in several new areas, including Puerto Rico. Both companies, however, still lag behind Verizon Wireless’ coverage.
So how do we know 4G LTE is faster? According to a recent Verizon blog, independent wireless testing companies (RootMetrics is one of them) perform testing throughout the year to determine network strength, reliability and speed across each of the wireless carriers. In 2012, RootMetrics results showed that Verizon Wireless outperformed competitors in a large majority of markets tested, said the company.
Verizon isn’t quite done with its 4G LTE expansion, however: the company said recently it plans to complete its full 4G LTE rollout by the middle of next year.
Edited by Brooke Neuman