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Verizon expanding 4G LTE network to cover area with 200 million people

December 5, 2011 |  3:30 pm

Motorola's Droid Razr, one of Verizon's latest 4G LTE phones

As of Monday, Verizon's 4G LTE network is 1 year old.

It's also the largest 4G LTE network in the U.S., with AT&T having launched its LTE service in November, while Sprint uses a WiMax 4G network and T-Mobile's 4G service runs on a HSPA+ network.

Sprint and T-Mobile are planning to move over to LTE sometime in the future, but when they do, the two carriers will have some catching up to do, as AT&T does now.

On Dec. 15, Verizon's 4G LTE network will expand to a coverage area of 190 markets, populated by about 200 million people, the company said in a statement.

So what's the difference between 4G in an LTE flavor versus WiMax or HSPA+?

LTE networks, from both AT&T and Verizon, offer higher top speeds than the other networks and can be as much as 10 times faster than 3G service, with theoretical peaks of 300 megabytes per second for downloads and 75 megabytes per second for uploads.

HSPA+ networks have theoretical top speeds of 42 megabytes per second for downloads and 23 megabytes per second for uploads. Sprint's WiMax 4G lists a theoretical top speed of more than 10 megabytes per second for downloads and 1 megabyte per second for uploads.

But, as always, just how fast and how reliable a phone or tablet runs on any cellular network varies by city, by device and by carrier.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The Motorola Droid Razr, one of Verizon's latest 4G LTE phones. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh / Los Angeles Times

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