Verizon Wireless on Monday named 25 more cities, mainly in Illinois and other Midwestern states, that will get its 4G LTE service on Sept. 15.
The carrier could be racing to set up network support for a coming iPhone 5 , that is rumored to support 4G LTE, some bloggers have said. Verizon would not comment on that speculation, however, referring questions about the iPhone to Apple instead.
"We're aggressive in the deployment of 4G LTE because we have a huge first-to-market advantage -- more than a year -- over what AT&T says it's going to be building eventually," said the Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, in an email.
He added that "our customers are using LTE big time. They love the speed and huge latency improvements. LTE is extremely efficient in carrying data."
Less than a week ago, Verizon said it had added 15 more cities to its LTE footprint, noting it had then reached 117 cities and half the U.S. population with LTE reaching 160 million Americans. Verizon's LTE network supports download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps.
The 25 added locations named on Monday were listed in several press releases for each different area, bringing the total to 142 cities and regions. Also Monday, Verizon said it would expand coverage in Cleveland on Sept. 15 and another city to be named later.
Last week, Verizon had expanded LTE in 10 cities, including areas near San Francisco.
Among the cities receiving the 4G LTE service starting Sept. 15, Verizon named the central Illinois region, including Bloomington/Normal and Champaign/Urbana, as well as Rockford, Ill., and the Quad Cities on the Illinois border with Iowa.
Other cities getting include Iowa City, Fargo, N.D., Moorhead, Minn., Canton, Ohio, and Mansfield, Ohio. Nelson said the added areas total 25 markets in all, as defined by Verizon. By comparison, AT&T is supposed to launch 15 markets on LTE by year's end.
Verizon already supports several smartphones and other devices on LTE, even if the iPhone 5 won't support it. Those smartphones include the Droid Charge by Samsung, the Revolution by LG and the HTC ThunderBolt. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 also runs 4G LTE.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com. Read more about wireless networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.