As Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks get deployed more quickly and more widely in the U.S., it's time to start looking beyond raw data speeds and ask about depth of coverage and the quality of the 4G networks.
Verizon Wireless said recently that it is ahead of schedule to cover its 3G footprint with LTE by mid-2013. The operator is launching another batch of smaller towns in Colorado, Wyoming and Missouri on 4G this Thursday.
AT&T meanwhile, is planning to have 300 million potential customers covered with LTE by the end of 2014. Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA have similarly ambitious schedules, meaning the grunt work of deploying an LTE network for the first time should be done by 2014, assuming no carrier falls behind schedule.
Now the thing about coverage is that not all coverage is created equal.