AT&T adds six more LTE cities

Total is now up to 109; carrier says it's ahead of schedule

AT&T said Monday it has upped its LTE wireless network reach to 109 markets, by adding six cities in Puerto Rico as well as Albuquerque, N.M., Reading, Pa. and Salt Lake City.

The three cities in Puerto Rico are Guayama, San German-Cabo Rojo and Yauco, the carrier said in separate statements.

Earlier this year, AT&T said it would have more than 100 markets on LTE by the end of 2012. It passed that threshold last month.

Verizon Wireless got a head start on other carriers and now has LTE in more than 440 cities, while Sprint last week said it had reached 43 markets.

Verizon is also the largest LTE carrier in the world.

The fact that the U.S. carriers are frequently touting their network reach to new cities is a sign of how competitive the rush to LTE has become. AT&T sells nine LTE-ready Android smartphones in addition to the popular iPhone 5 and the Windows Phone 8-based Nokia Lumia 920.

AT&T also promotes its LTE as offering faster average download speeds than competitors, although analysts note that usage will vary greatly by the number of users on a network, topography in the area and other factors. Some Computerworld readers have noted AT&T LTE download speeds of up to 50 Mbps, but the average in crowded areas is from 8 Mbps to 12 Mbps, generally in line with other carriers.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at  @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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