Verizon LTE Network Now Covers 75% of U.S., Ready for LTE iPhone

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Verizon LTE Coverage

The general consensus is that the next generation ‘iPhone 5’ will be the first iPhone compatible with 4G “LTE” networks. If that does indeed turn out to be the case, prospective buyers in the United States may wish to carefully consider their choice of carrier. Verizon Wireless, with the addition of 34 new markets Thursday, now offers LTE in a total of 371 markets, equivalent to 75 percent of the country, the company announced late Wednesday.

National competitor AT&T, the first and only iPhone carrier until early 2011, offers LTE in about 50 markets, while third place Sprint has just over a dozen cities where its LTE network can reach. T-Mobile, the only carrier on which the iPhone is not “officially” available, still has no LTE network, although they are testing one for a planned launch in 2013.

Prospective iPhone buyers will not be the only recipients of Verizon’s strong LTE rollout. Just as the iPhone was a late-adopter of 3G network technology, so too will it be one of the last major handsets to adopt the next generation data network. Android phones from a variety of manufacturers have offered LTE compatibility since before the launch of the iPhone 4S last October, and the third-generation iPad launched in March with an LTE option on AT&T and Verizon.

When a new iPhone is launched, most companies jump on the bandwagon and market their products or services to the crowds of new iPhone owners. Consumers should therefore be especially wary of “4G” promotions from their mobile carriers. Due to lax marketing regulations, “4G” can refer to a variety of network technologies, most of which are not nearly as fast as LTE.

So if you use a regional carrier, or a national carrier with limited LTE availability, make sure to check their coverage maps before signing a contract to ensure that your new iPhone will be able to flex its data network muscles.

From Verizon’s Press Release, new markets include:

Hot Springs, Ark.; Redding, Calif.; Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.; Centralia and Danville, Ill.; Parsons, Salina and Topeka, Kan.; Alexandria and Monroe, La.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.; Mankato and Worthington, Minn.; Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.; Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot, N.D.; Chillicothe, Ohio; Reading, Pa.; Aberdeen, S.D.; Laredo, Odessa and Texarkana, Texas; Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vt.; Charlottesville, Va.; Longview, Wash.; and Eau Claire, La Crosse and Manitowoc, Wis.

While existing markets seeing expansion Thursday are:

Los Angeles and Santa Barbara/Santa Maria, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Decatur/Effingham and Springfield, Ill.; Elkhart, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City, Iowa; Dodge City, Garden City and Great Bend, Kan.; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans, La.; Boston, Mass.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Missoula, Mont.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Las Cruces, N.M.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Roanoke, Va.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Green Bay, Wis.  Additional areas include: Little Rock, Ark., expanding into Batesville, Ark.; Tallahassee, Fla., expanding into Thomasville, Ga.; Burley, Idaho, expanding into Twin Falls, Idaho; Chicago, Ill., expanding into DeKalb, Ill.; and Cedar City, Utah, expanding into St. George, Utah.

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4 Comments

Greg

Without something like Sprint’s unlimited data, I, myself, would be scared to death of a 4G LTE connection with a data cap. It’d be like plunking a huge straw into a six ounce cup of delicious soda; a few sips, and it’s gone.

Dan

Sadly, the term “market” is a meaningless one, as each carrier defines what “market” means, and also defines the meaning of “market coverage”.

A single antenna on a single tower in Chillicothe, Ohio, doesn’t nearly support the entire Chillicothe region.  But I suppose it does, in Verizon-speak, cover yet another one of its “Markets”.

John

Dan - you could not be more wrong. A market, as Verizon states, indicates that coverage will blanket that entire region. Look up any of those new markets that Verizon posted, check the coverage, and you’ll find that even in you’re example - Chillicothe, Ohio means that the entire region, not just 1 tower is 4G LTE. Yes some markets are small, some are large. In your example Chillicothe covers a vast region in SouthEastern Ohio.

You must have Sprint or ATT. By the way - the best is when someone says their iPhone is 4G. Thanks to ATT for pushing that software update that magically turned their iPhone from 3g to 4g, and nothing speed wise even changed whatsoever. Its all marketing BS coming from the carriers who just can’t keep up. Re-branding your 3G and HSPA networks as 4G is just wrong and unfortunately to the average consumer they don’t realize there is a major difference.

IT will be interesting to see what happens when ATTs LTE is actually built up what they will re-brand their network as…. maybe they’ll start calling it 4Gplus….all the while when Verizon will have actually rolled out a LTE Advance network when this is taking place. Verizon might be more money, but remember the old adage…you get what you pay for!

Joe

John - I can understand what you are trying to say, but you couldn’t be more wrong when speaking of wireless generations.  A 4G network doesn’t necessarily mean LTE.  It just means a 4th Generation Cellular network.  It’s all marketing and means very little other than each wireless “generation” gives an increase in speed.  Yes AT&T and T-Mobile brand their HSPA networks as 4G and they are right.  It is their 4th generation wireless network with LTE being rolled out.  Only Verizon (having a CDMA wireless network) decided to focus their 4th generation network on LTE.  In short, one isn’t necessarily better than the other for most people.  Most people are far more concerned on what they pay each month and the value they get (aka, how well it works).  In my case, I feel I pay way too much for the poor service Verizon offers.

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