Carriers put the finishing touches on their 2012 LTE rollouts

Verizon LTE coverage feature

As the final weeks of the year dwindle away, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint are tweaking their 4G footprints one final time before wrapping up their 2012 LTE network rollouts. Verizon will launch LTE in in 29 small cities on Thursday, while AT&T and Sprint each lit up a half dozen new markets each this week.

Verizon long ago finished building out its network in the major metro markets, so its expansion is now making its way to smaller bergs. The new markets are:

Selma, Ala.; Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma, Ariz.; Eureka, Calif.; Burlington, Marshalltown, Mason City and Oskaloosa, Iowa; Ashland, Ky.; Bangor and Lewiston/Auburn, Maine; Menominee and Petoskey, Mich.; McComb/Brookhaven, Miss.; Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Hastings and McCook, Neb.; Farmington, Gallup and Roswell, N.M.; Portsmouth, Ohio; Muskogee, Okla.; Klamath Falls and Roseburg, Ore.; Sumter, S.C.; Tri Cities and Port Angeles, Wash.; and Clarksburg, W.Va.

Verizon also said it has expanded its LTE footprint in 36 existing markets from Los Angeles to Cleveland. In total, its 4G service was available in 440 markets, and at its last official count in October the network touched more than 250 million people. Verizon’s end of year of year goal is 260 million people covered, so its either pretty close to its target or has already reached it.

ATT-4G-LTE-LogoAT&T added LTE coverage in Green Bay, Wis.; Springfield, Mass.; Tucson, Ariz.; Melbourne, Fla.; and Oxford, Miss.; and it expanded its current 4G footprint in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Salt Lake City. Its network is now in 125 markets, so it’s already well past its goal of 100 markets in 2012. In addition Ma Bell also expanded its Wi-Fi data network in Chicago, adding shopping mecca Michigan Avenue to its growing number of outdoor Wi-Fi hotzones.

Sprint launched announced two major launches earlier this week: Chicago and Indianapolis. Sprint had already seeded Chicago’s suburbs with 4G towers, but on Wednesday the city proper went live. In addition, it turned on networks in Santa Rosa/Petaluma and Vallejo/Fairfield, Calif.; in southern Puerto Rico; York/Hanover, and Franklin County, Pa.

Sprint’s LTE network is now in 49 markets, so it’s well behind its two larger competitors. But Sprint says work is going on in hundreds of cities and in the coming months it will triple the number of cities and towns where LTE is available.

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