Coverage: T vs. VZ for 4G LTE

How does AT&T’s new local 4G LTE coverage compare to Sprint’s?

AT&T coverage map and still rolling more out, said Tony Adams in the Ledger-Inquirer, Update: AT&T adds cell sites outside Columbus, launches yearly smartphone upgrade plan July 26,

AT&T has 4G in the Columbus market, but not the faster LTE. A check of the firm’s coverage map shows virtually every other major metro area in Georgia with LTE, while many smaller communities in the state also have the top-of-the-line service.

Elsas, in a statement, said the company uses HSPA+ technology locally and those 4G speeds “are incredibly fast — up to four times faster than 3G.” But she also acknowledged there is work to be done on adding spectrum, or capacity, to the Columbus network.

Verizon coverage map (top) “As far as LTE, there is currently a lack of available spectrum in Columbus, and we are working hard to address this,” the statement said. “In the meantime, Verizon coverage map (bottom) we continue to invest in technology, strengthen our network and seek opportunities to offer the best wireless experience possible in the region.”

“Possible” of course includes they can milk profits out of it. I’ve got no objection to a business making a profit, but the incumbents have been holding back U.S. Internet access speeds for a decade or more because they could roll in the dough from what they already had out there, and I’m more than a little sceptical that that philosophy has changed at T or VZ. Although the fear of being outflanked by Sprint may have something to do with these recent rollouts.

The company has said it now has 4G LTE in 328 markets, serving 225 million people. It expects to complete a nationwide rollout of LTE by the end of 2014. Nearly 90 percent should be up and running by the end of this year, however. AT&T has invested $3.9 billion in Georgia since 2010.

“We are certainly not finished here in Georgia, and we value and appreciate our Columbus-area customers’ understanding and support as we work hard to make the necessary improvements they expect and deserve,” the statement from Elsas said.

Eventually, but don’t hold your breath.

Todd Haselton wrote for TechoBuffalo 19 June 2013, AT&T Activates Six New LTE Cities, Total Now at 284 Markets,

AT&T says it’s still on track to cover 300 million people in the United States by the end of 2014 but that more than 200 million people already have access to 4G LTE. The carrier’s network was recently dubbed the fastest in the United States by PCMag, though Verizon currently offers a more expansive network.

AT&T coverage map
AT&T coverage map

Meanwhile, according to

Nationwide, Verizon Wireless’ LTE network covers 298 million people in 500 markets.

Hm, so VZ has already done what T promises to do by next year. And Verizon’s local coverage is still much broader.

Verizon coverage map (top) Verizon coverage map (bottom)
Verizon coverage map

Any competition is still better than no competition.