Back when AT&T first started rolling out its nationwide LTE network in late 2011, it was at least a year behind Verizon. In fact, when the third-gen iPad launched with LTE last year, we were hard pressed to recommend an AT&T model simply because LTE coverage was so lame compared to Verizon.
But things have changed. Thanks to aggressive pushes into new markets, AT&T and Verizon are now pretty much nose-and-nose when total number of LTE markets is compared.
Yesterday, AT&T announced that LTE was coming to 14 new markets this week, including Peoria, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Great if you’re there, but if you’re not, thrillsville, right?
But actually, the press release announcing these new markets confirms is that AT&T’s total number of LTE markets is now 461, which is just 39 of Verizon’s 500-strong markets. Verizon considers its LTE rollout complete, covering 300 people with its network; AT&T, by comparison, will finish its rollout by the end of the year, covering 270 million people.
Okay, there will still be a discrepancy. Verizon has always blanketed more of the country than AT&T, though, while AT&T has always boasted a faster (though less reliable) network.