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Summary:

Sprint now has 300 cities and towns in its LTE footprint, but it still has some big holes to fill, like San Francisco.

Sprint on Monday announced a new batch of 70 markets receiving its LTE network. Sprint filled in a few big holes in its metro coverage map, including San Diego and St. Louis, but mostly these rollouts were in smaller cities like Starkville, Miss., and Muskegon, Mich.

Sprint’s LTE expansion has been a bit of a patchwork. Instead of focusing on the major cities first and then moving to smaller markets , Sprint has rolled out a combination of big and small cities. Also, when it brings 4G service live in a big city it often does so incrementally. For instance Sprint’s LTE network is live in Oakland and the East Bay, but it’s not in downtown San Francisco. You can find a complete list of the new markets here.

Sprint has updated its numbers for total population covered by LTE, though it has been promising to expand that footprint to 200 million people by the end of this year. Sprint may still be putting some more finishing touches on its network, or may just be keeping its coverage numbers under its hat to avoid comparisons to its three nationwide competitors, all of whom are well ahead of Sprint in their rollouts.

In October, Sprint started deploying its next-generation 4G service, called Spark, which actually ties three separate LTE networks together. Right now Spark isn’t fully formed, and it will roll out very slowly. It’s only live in five cities, and it will take Sprint three years to hit 100 markets. But as it goes live customers will get access to faster connections.

  1. “Also, when it brings 4G service live in a big city it often does so incrementally.”

    This isn’t just for large cities, they are literally doing it tower by tower and it drives my phone nuts as I live on the boundary between a LTE tower and an older tower which causes it to constantly bounce back and forth and the transfer is not that seamless and it kills the battery.

  2. Ok, time to revise things.
    To start, 4G ≠ LTE

    For marketing, You can say, one can achieve 4G speeds on an LTE network.

    But at the heart, these two technologies are very different.

    The Sprint/Verizon networks don’t have 4G. why? The radio technology is completely different.

    So, you just cannot do that anymore, 4G is not the same as LTE. Just stop, it’s one or the other, not both.

  3. Great. Had a LTE phone for over 1.5 years. Still not in my area. They have till May when my contract is up.

  4. I’ve had them for 15 years. Based on my experience in Tampa and Atlanta (both with LTE), their LTE speeds are not close to T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T. I average 4-6 down with sprint lte, and 15+ on T-Mobile. If it’s just 3g on sprint, forgetaboutit. .2, .5, etc. Hope they get more bandwidth for their towers. And if they do buy T-Mobile, hope they keep the T-Mobile infrastructure team…there’s a world of difference between the two.

  5. Danville Kentucky gets LTE and yet Danville Virginia at over three times its size is still left in the cold?!?!

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