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Verizon LTE hits 34 new markets, blankets 75 percent of U.S.

The company is also expanding 4G LTE coverage in 38 existing markets, for a total of 371 markets.

Roger Cheng/CNET

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network will be available in 34 new markets, starting tomorrow, and cover more than three-quarters of the nation in a total of 371 markets.

The carrier, which made the announcement today, added that its 4G LTE coverage is expanding 38 existing markets tomorrow as well.

The latest rollout further widens the gap between Verizon and its competitors when it comes to 4G LTE, an increasingly important selling point as consumers begin to care more about network speeds and how quickly they can browse the Internet, stream music, and download attachments and pictures on their smartphones. Verizon covers more markets than all of the other carriers combined.

Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer said the company is ahead of schedule for its LTE rollout and reiterated its target of hitting of 400 markets in the "near future."

In comparison, AT&T has covered roughly 50 markets, while Sprint Nextel said it will turn on 19 markets by Labor Day. T-Mobile will begin its LTE rollout next year, but has largely relied on its HSPA+ network, which it also calls 4G.

LTE coverage will also be increasing important when the next iPhone comes out, which is widely believed to be compatible with the faster 4G network.

Verizon's new markets: Hot Springs, Ark.; Redding, Calif.; Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.; Centralia and Danville, Ill.; Parsons, Salina, and Topeka, Kan.; Alexandria and Monroe, La.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.; Mankato and Worthington, Minn.; Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.; Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Minot, N.D.; Chillicothe, Ohio; Reading, Pa.; Aberdeen, S.D.; Laredo, Odessa, and Texarkana, Texas; Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vt.; Charlottesville, Va.; Longview, Wash.; and Eau Claire, La Crosse and Manitowoc, Wis.

The expanded markets: Los Angeles and Santa Barbara/Santa Maria, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Decatur/Effingham, and Springfield, Ill.; Elkhart, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City, Iowa; Dodge City, Garden City, and Great Bend, Kan.; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans, La.; Boston, Mass.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Missoula, Mont.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Las Cruces, N.M.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Roanoke, Va.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Green Bay, Wis. Additional areas include: Little Rock, Ark., expanding into Batesville, Ark.; Tallahassee, Fla., expanding into Thomasville, Ga.; Burley, Idaho, expanding into Twin Falls, Idaho; Chicago, Ill., expanding into DeKalb, Ill.; and Cedar City, Utah, expanding into St. George, Utah.