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Sprint turns on LTE in four more cities, still no major hubs

The carrier will cover 19 markets with LTE by Labor Day. The big test, though, will wait until a major urban center gets it.

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Sprint announced today that it will bring LTE to four more U.S. cities before Labor Day, lifting its count to 19 cities outfitted with the 4G technology by September.

The four cities are Baltimore; Gainesville, Ga.; Manhattan/Junction City, Kan.; and Sherman-Denison, Texas.

The Now Network launched 15 LTE markets earlier this month, concentrated in Texas and Georgia. Many are waiting for Sprint to enable LTE in a major urban center like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to gauge how well Sprint's LTE network performs alongside the more established Verizon and AT&T.

Sprint was the first carrier to bring 4G to the U.S., in the form of the WiMax technology and the HTC Evo 4G, in 2008.

America's third-largest carrier plans to complete the bulk of its LTE rollout by the end of 2013. It's currently lagging behind Verizon and AT&T in delivering the fast data technology.

Sprint began selling LTE-ready smartphones like the HTC Evo 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and LG Viper weeks and months before rolling out the network.