In the midst of the battle for 4G territory, we are currently seeing some interesting phenomena. Sprint is focusing on their upcoming 4G LTE network, Verizon is spreading its blazing fast speeds all over the country, AT&T is also focusing on 4G LTE and T-Mobile is still getting their HSPA+ 21 and HSPA+ 42 to everyone out there.
Everyone seems to have different priorities, as well as different plans for the future. But who is really winning the race? The idea that HSPA+ networks are not really 4G, but enhanced 3G, is still out there. Out of the “real” 4G networks, Sprint is definitely not working on WiMAX, since they are investing in its LTE network (coming next year), and AT&T has just launched its LTE speeds on a few markets.
This would mean that Verizon might be winning the 4G race. Big Red will be expanding its 4G LTE network to 14 new markets tomorrow, Nov. 17, as well as expanding 4 current ones. This would place Verizon at 179 markets, covering over 186 million users. 
Verizon’s new 4G LTE markets
- Little Rock, Ark.
- Savannah, Ga.
- Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa
- Lexington, Ky.
- Starkville, Miss.
- Kansas City and Springfield/Branson, Mo.
- Lincoln, Neb.
- Orange County, N.Y.
- Greater Providence, R.I.
- Rapid City, S.D.
- Roanoke, Va.
- Appleton/Oshkosh, Wis.
Verizon’s expanded 4G LTE markets
- Louisville, Ky.
- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
Talking about who’s fake and who’s real can become redundant, though. What matters mostly is that those speeds are much faster than good ol’ 3G. And while AT&T HSPA+ started strong and now covers over 200 million users, little T-Mobile is catching up to them — even while on the verge of bankruptcy. T-Mobile has just expanded its HSPA+ 21 network to 11 new markets and its HSPA+ 42 network to 9.
HSPA+ 42 now covers 163 markets reaching almost 180 million Americans, while HSPA+ 21 covers 208 markets reaching over 200 million users. This means that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network now reaches as many (if not more) users as AT&T’s, with 200 million users covered. Not bad for a company that is about to be acquired, and by AT&T. 
T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ 21 markets
- Corvallis, Ore.
- Decatur and Peoria, Ill.
- Evansville, Ind.
- Holland and Kalamazoo, Mich.
- Santa Barbara, Calif
- State College, Pa.
- Yuba City, Calif.
T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ 42 markets
- Bend, Medford and Corvallis, Ore.
- Benton Harbor, Mich.
- Bloomington, Champaign–Urbana and Springfield, Ill.
- Columbus, Ga.
- Hagerstown, Md.
- Montgomery, Ala
- Yuba City, Calif.
As of now, Verizon’s 4G LTE has a great advantage, offering the fastest speeds in more markets. AT&T’s 4G LTE network is not looking too shabby either. It is still not available in many places, though — only in 9 markets. The real question is, will Sprint and/or AT&T be able to catch up in the 4G LTE race next year? We will have to see, but it seems rather hard.
Either way, there are the new markets, so enjoy your speeds if you are lucky enough to be in one of the added cities. Just out of curiosity, though. What would you guys prefer? Are you a fan of 4G LTE’s speeds? Do you Prefer HSPA+ and the longer battery life attached to it? Who’s network will you be choosing next year?