AT&T announced Thursday it has rolled out 4G LTE services to 11 more markets, including New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The carrier now offers LTE services in 26 cities.
Despite the expansion, AT&T still lags behind rival Verizon Wireless, which started its 4G LTE rollout earlier and now offers the service in nearly 200 cities.
Still, the addition of three major metropolitan areas brings AT&T's fast LTE network within reach of 74 million consumers, AT&T noted.
The other new markets serviced by AT&T include Austin, Texas, Chapel Hill, N.C., Oakland, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix, Ariz., Raleigh, N.C., San Diego, Calif., and San Jose.
The update was announced at an investor conference today by AT&T's John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T business solutions.
AT&T noted that it's network is the only U.S. carrier using both HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul and LTE technologies for 4G speeds, which generally average more than 10 Mbps based on independent tests.
AT&T hasn't disclosed its expected 4G speeds yet, except to generally say they are 10 times faster than 3G. Speeds for individual users will vary widely, depending on the distance from a cell tower, the number of users on a single tower and other factors.
AT&T did state that iPhone 4S data downloads on its its HSPA+ and LTE network are three times faster than on other U.S. networks. AT&T didn't elaborate further on the claim.
The AT&T rollout of LTE is expected to last through 2013.
Smartphones running over AT&T's 4G LTE network include the HTC Vivid, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and LG Nitro HD. Tablets supported by the AT&T 4G LTE network include the HTC Jetstream and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.
Verizon's latest 4G LTE smartphone entry is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, notable because it is the first running Android 4.0.
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 e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.