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Cleveland gets AT&T's LTE, making it 39th market with 4G service

AT&T said demand for LTE is skyrocketing

AT&T turned on 4G LTE wireless service to Cleveland on Thursday, marking the 39th market in the U.S. to get the service.

Customers must have a 4G LTE phone or tablet from AT&T to benefit from the faster speeds, which are pegged at 10 times faster than 3G service. Where LTE is not available, those customers will access 3G or HSPA+ service.

AT&T's 4G devices include the HTC One X, which has been delayed by a U.S. Customs review, the Samsung Focus-2, the Nokia Lumia 900, the 5.3-in. Galaxy Note from Samsung and the Pantech Element tablet.

AT&T said demand for LTE is skyrocketing. The carrier boasts that it has superior speeds than Verizon with networks, partly due to a second HSPA+ network that is faster than 3G. Verizon's LTE rollout started in late 2010, and was recently expanded to 258 cities. Sprint is launching LTE in mid-year in six cities and has already begun selling 4G-capable devices.

Unlike AT&T, Verizon actually states its LTE network speeds, putting them at up to 12Mbps on downloads of data and up to 5Mbps on uploads. Even though the carriers debate their network speeds, a Metrico Wireless study conducted with 20,000 tests of both carriers' LTE networks found the speeds were actually comparable.

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 [email protected].

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about wireless networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.

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