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Sprint to expand 4G LTE to 28 more cities in coming months

The wireless carrier said 4G LTE will show up in smaller cities like Branson, Mo.; Oxford, Miss.; and Paris, Texas.

Sprint Nextel announced plans to expand its 4G LTE network to 28 new cities in the coming months, continuing its push to blanket its entire network with the high-speed wireless access.

The Overland Park, Kan., company listed Paris, Texas; Branson, Mo.; Oxford, Miss.; and other smaller cities in its latest update. It didn't specify what "coming months" means, but as CNET has reported, that could be as much as six months.

Sprint has been playing catch-up in terms of 4G LTE, lagging far behind rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T. It earlier made a bet on Clearwire's WiMax network, but later chose to go with LTE. Under Sprint's Network Vision plan, which is estimated to cost $4 billion to $5 billion, the company is shutting down its iDEN-based Nextel network, moving to 4G LTE, and simultaneously improving its 3G CDMA coverage.

So far, it has largely rolled out LTE in smaller markets. Sprint noted the faster wireless service is currently available in 49 networks, and it has announced nearly 200 more areas where LTE is on its way. CNET reported late last year that LTE may not arrive in the major markets of New York and San Francisco until March.

Here's the list of the 28 new markets:

Albany, Ga.; Anderson, S.C.; Bay City, Mich.; Branson, Mo.; Bremerton/Silverdale, Wash.; Columbus, Ga.; Columbus, Miss.; Decatur, Ala.; Florence/Muscle Shoals, Ala.; Gadsden, Ala.; Gaffney, S.C.; Gettysburg, Pa.; Glasgow, Ky.; Homosassa Springs, Fla.; Hot Springs, Ark.; Lake City, Fla.; Lake Havasu City/Kingman, Ariz.; Midland, Mich.; Nacogdoches, Texas; Opelousas/Eunice, La.; Oxford, Miss.; Paris, Texas; Pittsfield, Mass.; Saginaw, Mich.; Spartanburg, S.C.; The Villages, Fla.; Waycross, Ga.; Winona, Minn.