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U.S. Cellular expands LTE to more than 30 new markets

The carrier's 4G LTE network will cover 58 percent of its customers by the end of the year.

U.S. Cellular's coverage map. The red dots are 4G LTE cities.
Screenshot by Shara Tibken/CNET
U.S. Cellular is expanding its 4G LTE coverage area to more than 30 new markets on Monday, extending the carrier's footprint for the high-speed network to more than half of its customers.

The rollout will bring LTE to select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, and brings new LTE coverage to some of U.S. Cellular's markets in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The next wave of market launches will follow shortly in Rockford, Ill., Medford, Ore., Yakima, Wash., and Knoxville, Tenn., the company said today.

By the end of the year, 58 percent of U.S. Cellular's customers will have access to 4G LTE speeds.

"With more than half of our customers having access to 4G LTE speeds by the start of the holiday season, we are helping customers simplify and organize their lives more quickly and easier than ever," David Kimbell, senior vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer for U.S. Cellular, said in a press release.

U.S. carriers have been racing to expand their 4G LTE coverage and catch up with leader Verizon Wireless. The faster data speeds allow users to do things like download video more quickly, and most new smartphones take advantage of LTE. Based in Chicago, U.S. Cellular lags behind its larger rivals, but its push with LTE should help it attract and hold on to customers.

The company launched LTE in March.