Sprint Nextel said today that it now covers 32 markets with its higher speed 4G LTE network.
The network now blankets several communities outside of Chicago, collectively known as Chicagoland, well as Wichita Falls, Texas, Hutchinson and McPherson, Kan., and New Bedford/Fall River, Mass.
Sprint is racing to catch up to larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which last week week exceeded its 400-market target and has more markets covered than every other carrier combined. With consumers demanding a faster connection for Web browsing, music, and video, 4G LTE has become a bigger selling point.
The capabilities of LTE have gone further mainstream thanks to the iPhone 5, which is able to tap into each of the carriers' 4G LTE network. Unfortunately for Sprint customers, a vast majority of its territory is still covered by its slower 3G network.
Sprint is also behind on getting coverage in the biggest cities, something Verizon and AT&T was sure to do early in their respective roll outs. Still, it is ahead of T-Mobile USA, which plans on starting its deployment next year.
Here are the markets in Chicagoland covered by Sprint's LTE: Addison, Bolingbrook, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Kankakee, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Palatine, Plainfield, Ill., along with Gary, Ind.
This is a complete list of the markets covered:
Atlanta, Ga.; Athens, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Barnstable-Hyannis/Mid-Cape, Mass.; Calhoun, Ga.; Carrollton, Ga.; Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.; Gainesville, Ga.; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Ind.; Granbury-Hood County, Texas; Houston; Huntsville, Texas; Hutchinson, Kan.; Lawrence, Kan.; Kankakee/Bradley/Bourbonnais, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.; McPherson, Kan.; Manhattan/Junction City, Kan.; New Bedford/Fall River, Mass.; Newnan, Ga.; Rockford, Ill.; Rome, Ga.; San Antonio, Texas; Sedalia, Mo.; St. Joseph, Mo.-Kan.; Topeka, Kan.; Waco, Texas; Waukegan-Lake County, Ill.; Wichita, Kan.; Wichita Falls, Texas.