Current 4G LTE networks through the major carriers are designed to deliver speeds around 5-12Mbps download and 2-5Mbps upload. When carriers eventually upgrade their networks to LTE-A minimum speeds should exceed 100Mbps, which could give high end wired fiber services a run for their money, assuming the data caps scale with the increase in data speed. Right now T-Mobile customers can find 4G LTE coverage in seven markets including Baltimore; Houston; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Phoenix; San Jose, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. and T-Mobile CEO John Legere stated they’ll have New York City online with LTE by early summer.
If we compare LTE coverage with other carriers Verizon still tops the list with 491 cities, AT&T comes in second with 175 cities and Sprint in third with 90 cities. This puts T-Mobile at a pretty big disadvantage and they’ll face an uphill battle trying to build out their LTE or LTE-Advanced networks. A Verizon spokesperson has stated they plan to launch their 4G LTE-Advanced network in 2014 after their entire 3G network is upgraded to 4G LTE by the end of 2013. Only time will tell who will be the first to actually launch LTE-Advanced and if there will be any difference in speed between the carriers, right now they’re all pretty much equal in speed, so the biggest factor for potential customers is still going to be coverage where 4G LTE is available.
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