At CES on Monday, AT&T(s t) announced a new batch of new LTE markets, but what it didn’t mention is it crossed over the 500-market mark, putting it nearly on par with arch-rival Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) in terms of LTE coverage.
I say “nearly” because while AT&T is now in just as many cities and towns as Verizon when it comes to its LTE footprint, it hasn’t quite matched it in total population covered. While AT&T’s network touches 270 million people, Verizon’s reaches about 300 million, reflecting Verizon’s tendency to reach farther outside of a city to cover surrounding areas.
Still, AT&T doesn’t appear to be done with its 4G expansion, while Verizon has pretty much concluded its rollout. We’re likely to see AT&T add more cell sites and possibly even more markets to its footprint in the coming months. Meanwhile, Verizon has turned its attention to adding capacity to its LTE networks, starting in the big cities where its doubled and in many cased tripled its 4G capacity.