Verizon Will Have LTE Available in 175 Markets by Nov. 17

Verizon (NYS: VZ) Wireless said it will reach its 2011 target of 175 LTE markets nationwide by Nov. 17, more than a full month ahead of schedule and another indication of the coverage lead it has over other U.S. carriers.

Verizon, which currently offers LTE service in 143 markets covering 160 million POPs, said that by Nov. 17 it will have LTE live in 178 markets. The carrier said it will launch its LTE network in 22 new cities Oct. 20, and in 13 cities Nov. 17. Verizon had previously set a target of 175 markets and 185 million POPs covered by year-end; the company plans to have two-thirds of the country covered with LTE by mid-2012 and finish covering its 3G footprint by the end of 2013.

On Oct. 20, Verizon will launch LTE in Birmingham, Ala.; Modesto and Stockton, Calif.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Bloomington, Elkhart, Evansville, South Bend and Terre Haute, Ind.;  Tupelo, Miss.; Greater Hampton Roads and Richmond, Va.; and Green Bay, Wis. On Nov. 17, LTE will launch service in Little Rock, Ark.; Savannah, Ga.; Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa; Lexington, Ky.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Providence, R.I.; Rapid City, S.D.; Roanoke, Va.; and Appleton, Wis.

AT&T (NYS: T) Mobility offers LTE service in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The company expects to deploy LTE across 70 million POPs in 15 markets by year-end and complete its LTE buildout by 2013, However, the company's LTE deployment plans could be complicated by whether the Department of Justice wins its case to block AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T wants to acquire T-Mobile's spectrum and network resources to deploy LTE to 97 percent of the U.S. population.

Sprint Nextel (NYS: S) said last week that it will launch FDD LTE service on its 1900 MHz spectrum by mid-2012. By the end of 2012, Sprint will cover 176 million POPs with 4G, a figure that includes 123 million LTE POPs, 120 million WiMAX POPs and 67 million POPs that will overlap. By the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have 250 million LTE POPs covered and will continue filling in smaller markets with LTE at the beginning of 2014.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network currently covers 170 million POPs and the company expects to continue expanding that coverage though it has not given precise buildout goals for HSPA+ 42.

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