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AT&T is closing in on Verizon in LTE network coverage

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AT&T(s t) announced another a new batch of 14 LTE market launches on Wednesday, which puts its total at 461 cities and towns in the U.S. and just 39 markets short of matching Verizon’s(s vz)(s vod) now-complete 500-city 4G footprint.

AT&T first started turning on LTE in 2011 nine months after Verizon with an eye on completing it next summer. Over the last year, it’s been accelerating its rollout, reaching its overall 2013 coverage goal of 250 million people by the end of Q3. Ma Bell hasn’t revealed how many people are in its LTE footprint today, but it keeps adding new markets to its rollout schedule. Its new end-of-year target is 270 million cover, a goal it will certainly meet if not exceed.

AT&T's network coverage with LTE markets marked in black
AT&T’s network coverage with LTE markets marked in black

Verizon wrapped up its nationwide LTE rollout in June with 298 million people covered (though it immediately started on new LTE network, which we’ve started to see signs of in NYC). While AT&T is certainly getting close to matching Verizon’s coverage, it won’t necessary achieve parity. Verizon prides itself on having the best coverage in the U.S., and it’s been deploying its LTE networks far more widely in cities than other carriers.


5 Responses to “AT&T is closing in on Verizon in LTE network coverage”

  1. Greennick98

    People are complaining how verizon is slow… Must we remember that youre not using an aws device? I have a droid maxx and was in washington dc and pulled nearly 100mpbs!!!! That crushes att, tmobile, and sprints spark service. Dont complain to verizon when your phone is the issue. Verizon processes way more gb of data a year than att aswell…

  2. cladmonitor

    In all of So Cal and into Vegas Verizon has a far better LTE network. Also Verizon seems to care about bolstering highly saturated conventions (Like CES and Comic Con) where AT&T lets uses roam or fend for themselves. Albeit I have varied speeds its typically 5-10mbps but responsiveness is far better than my AT&T phone. AT&T gets 20-25mbps (when LTE is available) but the larger problem is since LTE is weaker in most areas the phones radio has to try harder to achieve these connections so the identical phone gets about 25% less battery life. Lastly Verizon allows users to tether for no additional charge on an up-to-date smartphone plan, at&t charges $50.

  3. VZW’s LTE in downtown Richmond, Virginia is an absolute joke. There is plenty of signal strength but the throughput – download and upload speeds – is often below 400 kbps (0.4 Mbps) all day long. It recently took me 12 minutes to download a short video of 90 seconds. Sometimes pages just “time out” on Verizon LTE. No kidding, sometimes I go into settings and turn off LTE because the 3G is better, sluggish but it plugs along.

    Great advertising for Verizon Wireless, our 3G is better than our LTE.

  4. I think that at&t’s coverage is much better than verizon except perhaps in few small towns where at&t hasn’t caught up yet. The n/w latency is better, voice Q much better and the fallback is HSPA/HSPA+ versus the decades old CDMA of verizon which is slow and unreliable.

    I have neither verizon nor at&t now but used to have at&t; between the two, I’d always recommend at&t in spite of my intense dislike for both of them.

  5. Steve Clark

    heh in downtown nashville today at lunch I pulled down 0.5mbps on my sgs3 while my friend with att pulled down 14+ on his lumia. I think AT&t is ahead of vz