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AT&T cranks up LTE in 35 new markets, accelerating its summer rollout plans

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Three of the big four operators have plans for major expansions of their LTE networks this summer. Sprint(s s) is targeting 120 cities. T-Mobile(s tmus) has promised its infant network would cover 100 million people by mid-year. AT&T(s t) is committed to 78 new markets. While the first two have a long way to go, AT&T appears to be almost done.

Ma Bell announced on Tuesday that 35 new towns and small cities have received the 4G upgrade, placing its count right at 68. AT&T isn’t just making quick work of its list; it’s adding new markets to it. So when summer comes to a close, it will probably have far more new markets online than its planned 78. In fact, AT&T recently raised its year-end goal from 250 million to 270 million people covered, which puts it within spitting distance of completing its network.

Like Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) at this time last year, AT&T has completed its network in the big metro areas, and is now focusing on the smaller cities and town in between. Meanwhile Verizon last week closed the books on LTE network No. 1, announcing it now covers 95 percent of the U.S. population.

Here is the complete list of new LTE markets AT&T announced today:

Pine Bluff, Ark.; Searcy, Ark.; Chico-Oroville, Calif.; Grand Junction, Col.; Silverthorne, Col.; Homosassa Springs, Fla.; Palatka, Fla.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Valdosta, Ga.; Lafayette, La.; Morgan City, La.; New Iberia, La.; Cape Cod, Mass.; New Ulm, Minn.; Corinth-New Albany, Miss.; Greenwood-Cleveland, Miss.; Grenada, Miss.; Meridian, Miss.; Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Atlantic City-Toms River, N.J.; Batavia, N.Y.; Dunn, N.C.; Lawton, Okla.; Dillon, S.C.; Midland, Texas; Odessa, Texas; Sherman-Denison, Texas; Victoria, Texas; St. Croix, US Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Bremerton, Wash.; Moses Lake, Wash.;Yakima, Wash.; Beckley, W.V.; and Oak Hill, W.V.

That brings its total to 326 markets. AT&T also expanded its existing LTE coverage in several key markets, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Atlanta.

Correction: An earlier version of this posted stated AT&T launched in 36 new markets in Tuesday. The official count is 35.

5 Responses to “AT&T cranks up LTE in 35 new markets, accelerating its summer rollout plans”

  1. Erinyes

    You state that “[T-Mobile has] a long way to go” to reach its goal over covering 100 million people, but they have exceeded that goal and already cover over 157 million. This is stated in your own article ( While this figure was not official until 8 days after this article was written, it’s clear that even at that time, they could not have had “a long way to go.”

  2. Gussy2000

    In itty, bitty NH here but I’ve got coverage and expanded coverage as of only about a week ago. Since the release of the iPhone 5, I’ve had LTE art the house. I’m near the MA border though so I figured it was “spill over” (the tower 0.7 miles from my house was still putting out only HSPA+).

    Then all of a sudden, about a week ago, I was coming out of a store about 16 miles north of home and I had LTE coverage. The real irony is that there are no NH markets listed in this article.

  3. Shiggity

    I know this is good news, but doesn’t it frustrate you at the relative speed and ease at which companies can roll out infrastructure? Aren’t they constantly telling us how long, cumbersome, and super impossibly expensive it is?

    • Kevin Fitchard

      I see your point, Shiggity. It does seem like AT&T is coasting now. I can say AT&T has been planning this network for more than 3 years, though, which in the fast-paced world of tech is an eternity. Also it cost them multiple billions to build.

      But I agree in part. Carriers do seem to play the expense and effort cards when it suits them (say, when they go before regulators asking them why they’re not using their spectrum).