Verizon expanded its 4G coverage across the country, to keep up in the race for speedier service to lure data-hungry customers.
The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier this week expanded its 4G LTE network to 19 new cities, including Sacramento, Hartford, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee, while expanding its coverage within San Francisco and Detroit. Verizon’s 4G network now covers 74 cities across the U.S.
“Our 4G LTE network is revolutionizing the way people communicate, and we know this connectivity will be a key communications and technology enabler for many years to come,” said T.J. Fox, Verizon president for Wisconsin and Illinois.
Verizon’s 4G network will allow users to download files with speeds up to 12 megabits per second, and features upload speeds up to five megabits per second. Verizon’s closest 4G competitor Sprint, which offers its WiMax network in 64 markets, tops out between three to six megabits for downloads, making Verizon still the fastest in 4G.
Verizon has also extended its free 4G mobile hotspot promotion through July 6 allowing free coverage to the owners of the Droid Charge, HTC Thunderbolt and LG Revolution. Once the promotion expires, owners of these devices must upgrade their contracts to include 4G coverage.
Verizon is working quickly to cover as many areas as possible in the U.S. to outdo competitor AT&T, which is also working on its own 4G network.
Last month, AT&T expanded its HSPA-plus network service to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The company plans to upgrade to its version of LTE, called VoLTE, in 2013, in addition to entering 10 new markets by the end of the year, and introducing 20 4G devices.
T-Mobile’s 4G launch to 55 markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami, could spell trouble for Verizon in the long run, as rival AT&T is currently seeking approval of its $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.
If successful, AT&T would use T-Mobile’s spectrum for its own LTE network and go head-to-head with Verizon.
Verizon says it will continue to expand its 4G coverage areas, and plans to cover its entire 3G wireless network with 4G by the end of 2013.