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Verizon LTE expansion continues with 28 more cities

Count will reach 258 markets, with 400 planned by year's end

Verizon Wireless will add 28 more cities to its nationwide LTE network on Thursday, bringing the total to 258 markets.

The carrier expects to reach 400 markets by the end of 2012, Verizon said in a statement. LTE on Verizon offers speeds of 5Mbps to 12 Mbps on downlinks and 2Mbps to 5 Mbps on uplinks, in the range of 10 times faster than 3G speeds.

Verizon also has an expanding list of LTE smartphones and LTE aircards and expects to put the Droid Incredible 4G LTE by HTC on sale in the coming weeks. A blue version of the Droid Razr goes on sale Thursday, Verizon said. Those devices revert to 3G where LTE is unavailable.

Before Thursday's expansion, Verizon said its LTE network could reach 230 million Americans, covering about two-thirds of the U.S. AT&T is also rapidly deploying LTE, but Verizon had a big head start with its first LTE deployments in December 2010. AT&T had 32 LTE cities as of April. Sprint, the nation's third-largest carrier, expects to launch LTE in mid-year in six markets, with a national expansion over the next 18 months.

A recent Metrico Wireless study of thousands of calls conducted in New York and Baltimore-Washington found both AT&T and Verizon LTE has comparable speeds, with sub-one second Web page load times.

On Thursday, Verizon will launch LTE in the following cities: Houma/Thibodaux and Lake Charles, La.; Hyannis/Mid-Cape, Mass.; Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Mich.; Biloxi/Gulfport/Pascagoula and Oxford, Miss.; Atlantic City/Toms River, N.J.; Dickinson and Williston, N.D.; Ashtabula, Bucyrus and Defiance, Ohio; Eugene/Springfield, Ore.; Lancaster, New Castle, Northern Cambria County, Oil City/Franklin, Somerset and York, Penn.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Mitchell, S.D.; Paris, Texas; Burlington/Northern, Vt.; Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Martinsville and Staunton/Waynesboro, Va.; and Sheridan, Wyo.

Also on Thursday, Verizon will expand its LTE network in Denver; Dover, Del.; Fort Myers and Lakeland, Fla.; Hagerstown, Md.; Canton, Lima, Mansfield, Toledo and Youngstown/Warren, Ohio; and Erie, Penn.

A full list of Verizon LTE cities is included at its Web site.

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 [email protected].

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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