Originally published: June 16, 2011
Last updated: June 16, 2011 - 6:15pm
A day after Verizon Wireless expanded its long-term evolution (LTE) footprint to 19 new markets, T-Mobile has countered by bringing its dual-carrier high-speed packet access plus (HSPA+) upgrade to another 41 cities. That brings T-Mobile’s total footprint for the lightning fast 42 Mb/s to 97 markets compared to Verizon’s 74.
Though all of the operators offer so-called 4G services, Verizon and T-Mobile’s networks stand out, not just because of the cutting edge technologies used but the enormous bandwidth they've devoted to those networks. Both are using 20 MHz of spectrum in their mobile broadband carriers compared to the 10 MHz used by Sprint for WiMAX and AT&T for HSPA+, allowing them to deliver speeds well in excess of 10 Mb/s consistently. Verizon’s next-generation LTE technology is technically the faster, though it conservatively markets its average speeds as between 5 Mb/s to 12 Mb/s. Meanwhile, T-Mobile today reported that it is recording average speeds just under 10 Mb/s and peak speeds of 27 Mb/s to the Rocket 3.0 laptop stick, its sole dual-carrier device. Neither T-Mobile nor Verizon are reporting total pops covered for their networks so it’s hard to gauge which has the larger footprint. But in general Verizon has been much more aggressive in launching in the biggest metro markets, while T-Mobile has launched in a more than a dozen major metros and focused most its expansion in mid-sized and small markets. Both carriers’ year-end coverage projections reflect though those trends. Verizon is targeting 185 million pops while T-Mobile is targeting 150 million.
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