Verizon to add LTE to five more cities

Total hits 195 markets, well ahead of other carriers

Verizon Wireless on Thursday will add five more cities to its rapidly expanding 4G LTE network, including Brownsville and McAllen, Texas.

The other three cities being added are Glens Falls and Utica, N.Y., and Lawton, Okla., bringing Verizon's total to 195 markets.

The major U.S. cities have already been activated on Verizon's 4G LTE, but Verizon said it will expand its LTE service in Atlanta, Houston and Spokane, Wash., on Thursday.

Verizon said its LTE network is now within reach of 200 million people.

The carrier also said the Spectrum smartphone from LG will be available Thursday for 4G LTE service, The smartphone was announced with five other LTE devices on Verizon at the CES trade show last week. The Spectrum features a 4.5-in. display and will sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

Average data downlinks on Verizon's LTE are 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps, Verizon said.

AT&T has begun an LTE network and now serves 26 cities, while Sprint has committed to launching LTE in 11 cities by mid-year.

At CES, AT&T announced five Android smartphones and a tablet that run over LTE, while Sprint promised to offer.

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