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Verizon widens 4G LTE lead with 46 new markets

By tomorrow, the wireless company will have a total of 304 markets covered with 4G LTE.

Verizon's imposing booth at CES 2012
Verizon's 4G LTE booth at the Consumer Electronics Show. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless isn't letting up on the gas in its 4G LTE network deployment.

The carrier said that its 4G network will stretch to 46 new markets, with expanded coverage in 22 existing markets by tomorrow.

The expansive 4G LTE roll-out is a crucial edge that Verizon maintains over its competitors at a time when consumers are looking for faster service for their smartphones and other mobile devices. The company has been able to tout its faster coverage, even as rivals such as AT&T boast of wider coverage of a slower 4G technology called HSPA+.

Verizon isn't the most popular carrier right now, as it looks to begin killing off grandfathered unlimited data plans in favor of capped plans and family share plans starting June 28.

The carrier, however, has often touted itself as the premium player in the market because of the perceived superiority of the quality of its network. Verizon was the first major carrier to move to LTE, something the other carriers have all committed to or are in the process of rolling out.

By Thursday, the carrier will have covered 304 markets. It has a goal of covering 400 markets by the end of the year.

In comparison, AT&T said in May thatit had lit up 39 LTE markets as its deployment progresses slower. Sprint Nextel plans to have its first six markets up by the end of June, while T-Mobile USA will begin its roll-out next year.

The 46 new markets are: Florence, Ala.; Harrison, Ark.; Yuba City/Marysville, Calif.; Panama City, Fla.; Carrolton, Gainesville and Newnan, Ga.; Blackfoot, Idaho; Decatur/Effingham, Kankakee/Bradley-Bourbonnais and La Salle/Peru/Ottawa, Ill.; Columbus and Michigan City/La Porte, Ind.; greater Portland, Maine; Greenville/Greenwood, Jackson and Tunica, Miss.; Houghton and Traverse City, Mich.; Jefferson City, Lake of the Ozarks and West Plains, Mo.; Binghamton, Elmira/Corning/Hornell and Oneonta, N.Y.; Burlington, Hickory/Lenoir, Jacksonville and New Bern, N.C.; Bedford and Sharon/Farrell/Hermitage, Pa.; Anderson, Florence and Greenwood, S.C.; Lufkin/Nacogdoches, Midland, San Angelo and Waco, Texas.; Danville, Va.; Ashland, Ky./Huntington, W.Va. and Logan, W.Va.; Fond du Lac, Janesville/Beloit and Sheboygan, Wis.; and Gillette, Wyo.

It launched the Lihue, Hawaii market on June 11.