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Rollout of first-gen LTE continues to be successful

While rival AT&T, Inc. (T) proved slightly faster in early speed tests, no one is debating that the LTE coverage of Verizon Wireless -- Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- is without equal.  Since its rollout of the fourth-generation wireless technology, which began in Dec. 2010, Verizon has been steadily expanding to new cities/suburbs across the U.S. every few months.

It announced this week that its August addition of 34 new markets and expansions of 38 existing markets will bring its total LTE coverage to 370 markets and 75 of the U.S. population.

Where it's available, AT&T provides arguably a superior option, given that if 4G coverage drops out the transition to 3G+ (HSPA+) is smoother than Verizon's transition to 3G (which will drop video streams, etc.).

However, for many users who regularly travel either for business, family, or pleasure -- or for the many users in regions where AT&T does not cover -- Verizon's stellar coverage trumps its rival's speed and infrastructure advantages in select markets.

Verizon coverage
Covering 75 percent of Americans, Verizon is unmatched in LTE coverage.

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) recently turned on its new LTE network as well, but it remains a far cry from either Verizon in coverage or AT&T in speed, although its plans are generally affordably priced.

Verizon is looking to crank up its speeds with "advanced LTE" next year, which will come closer to fulfilling the original spec for the technology.

Source: Verizon Wireless





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