Nov 16 AT 2:21 PM Edgar Cervantes 30 Comments

T-Mobile expands 4G coverage while Verizon continues towards LTE nationwide domination


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. [1]

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. [2]

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?


  1. Via Phandroid
  2. Via Phandroid
Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • T-Mobile Galaxy S2

    I’m fine with not having an LTE radio drain the living life out of my battery and having download speeds of of around 18-20 mbps… HSPA+ FTW!

    • Transient

      Got to agree. Would rather have a HSPA+ 42 Mbps network than a battery draining WiMax (NS4G user here) or LTE (which from what I read is even worse).

      • haterontherocks

        people should stop hating on tmobile 4g network its fast just recently its considered as a 4g so stop hating. i enjoy my 10mbps or more and plus atleast it doesnt drain ur battery not like lte.

    • Phil

      All you guys give the same excuse. Would rather not have lte bla bla bla. That’s because you don’t have it. And if the crappy Nexus 4 had lte the battery would last an hour. It has bad battery life as it is. Had two and returned them both. I LTE is the future deal with it

  • Black Kristos

    I would be willing to stay with T-Mobile if it weren’t for the fact that my area will probably never get HSPA+21 & certainly will never get +42. I’ve been rolling with spotty 3G coverage for 2.5 years with the MT3G and I just can’t take it for another 2 years (or less depending on how the buyout/bankrupcy goes).

    The way I figure it, Verizon will get 4G speeds to my market first, so I’m planning on jumping over to them. The Nexus will just be the kick in the pants.

  • clocinnorcal

    I live about 45 mins from Yuba City, CA in Chico, Ca. We have HSPA+21 here. Wonder when we get +42. When I look on Tmo’s coverage map it says that 4G is “coming soon” to my City. Wonder if they are talking about +42, because there is already +21 I would assume since my phone says “4G” in the signal bar. Hmmm

    • Tangent

      I’m not sure if this is the case with all phones like it is with my Sensation 4G, but since the 4G HSPA+ uses the same bands as the 3G HSPA, you will never see “3G” in your display. It can’t tell if it’s on a 3G connection or a 4G that’s slow due to heavy use so it will display “4G”. The only way to know if you’re getting the 21 speeds is to do a speed test.

      • Tmo vibrante

        Idk about that ive been in a areas where my phone has said edge,3g and 4g so…

        • Tmo vibrante

          I have a vibrante 4g btw

    • Peter

      If you have a LTE capable set they’re doing have a few LTE test sights in Chico. By the mall and the airport on the north side. ;-)

      • Alex

        Great to know, thanks!

  • steve

    well dont consider t-mo 4G just consider it faster then at&t and Sprint and sometimes just as fast as Verizons lte if you have a 42 compatible phone it gets just as fast download speeds or faster sometimes personally I have a sensation so I dont get Verizon speeds but always faster then my friends on Sprint in fact some have left and gone to T-mobile.

  • Droid Dewd

    If TMO doesn’t get swallowed up by the evil empire–er AT&T :OP I might still stay with them of course they stay afloat long enough too. Otherwise Verizon will probably be getting my biz based on their LTE network sometime in the near future.

  • Nathan

    I don’t care if I had Ltd or hspa+ (currently only have 3g) both are fast, so it don’t matter but the drain on battery would be a bit annoying.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I must say I have been on both sides of this fence. I used wimax for years on my Evo 4g then Evo 3d. At that time wimax was fine there was nothing to compare it to. Now I use Verizon and it’s LTE network and there is NO comparison trust me. I got 31mbps down and 17mbps up this morning after 8:30am I always seem to be amazed daily with LTE. Battery drainage who cares wimax drained battery just as LTE does we are all use to that buy now. I also notice that on my current Lg Revolution it holds a much better signal at 4bars consistently where my Evo 3d use to be at 1 or 2 bars and never held a 4g signal. The proof in the technology Verizon and it’s LTE is better period…

    • Phil

      Totally agree with you.

  • adc

    How can u say that tmobile doesn’t have 4g its only enhanced 3g 42mbsis way fast and if I remember correctly hspa+ is 4g according to that rulement of what’s 4g

    • Andres Galvan

      Well, techinically, it IS 4G, but more of a slow version of 4G, and LTE is the fast. Just like HSPA+ has 21mbps 4G and 42mbps 4G, LTE is more like 100mbps 4G. Of course, all these titles are just theoretical, and you’ll really only get a fraction of these speeds, no matter how good your coverage is.

  • UMA Fan

    Who are the uninformed idiots who write these articles????

    T-Mobile on the verge of bankruptcy? This is the first I’ve heard of this. They actually make a lot of money every year, the reasons for the acquisition with at&t is for different reasons other than pure financial ones. T-Mobile USA has always posted a net financial gain, never loss like Sprint does. Get your facts straight Android and Me, this is ridiculous.

    Also, how can you call LTE truer 4G than HSPA+ 42? They are BOTH just advanced 3G technologies. By the same metric you call HSPA+ unauthentic 4G then the LTE being deployed by Verizon is in the EXACT SAME CAMP.

    It would be one thing if T-Mobile marked up data prices and called it 4G but it’s just their existing data network enhanced at existing prices with options for less expensive or more expensive tiers. Consumers are getting roughly the same performance as LTE on HSPA+42 at cheaper prices with better battery life on top of it.

    I used to recommend this blog to people. I’ll make sure people I know don’t visit here again with all this uninformed nonsense. Did Verizon pay you guys off?

    • Black Kristos

      I said GOOD DAY SIR!

    • levi

      Get you facts straight. Lte is a whole new wavelength. Completely new frequency. Hspa is advanced 3g.

      • Phil

        Finally. Someone with a brain

  • cb2000a

    I really like T-Mobile and their 4g phones. The battery life is wonderful and the speed is great. The auto switiching of wifi to cell tower is a fantastic idea and takes a load off of the cell system. Coming from Verizon and their just awful 3g speeds it’s a breath of fresh air.

  • cb2000a

    I really like T-Mobile and their 4g phones. The battery life is wonderful and the speed is great. The auto switching of wifi to cell tower is a fantastic idea and takes a load off of the cell system. Coming from Verizon and their just awful 3g speeds it’s a breath of fresh air.

  • topgunlander

    I love my verizon 4g lte. anywhere from 25 to even 30Mps… ive never seen a at&t service truck and i cant say that for t-moble or sprint fact is verizon is beating everyone if you call it a race… more markets every month…If anything at the end of this race its gonna be about coverage areas some more than others…and if Verizon does the same thing that they did for their 3g coverage areas 4g will be there as well

  • honourbound68

    ive had sprint for over 10 years but my coverage sucks… tmo might be my next provider

  • Danny Calderon

    I’m fine with fake 4g speeds, what does it matter anyway after 2gb they either slow you down or charge you extra

  • jarrod

    T-Mobile is expanding its coverage even more, a few days ago i went out of state and was getting 3G more than the last time I went out of texas to louisiana. If you look at their prepaid map compared to the other one on the data side you see that they have added more to areas like florida and then most other major markets and some small ones also

  • pritams

    big deal…..