Verizon launches 46 new 4G LTE markets Thursday

Will also expand its existing LTE service in 22 markets

Verizon Wireless will add 46 U.S. cities to its 4G LTE network on Thursday, for a total of 304 markets.

The carrier first began deploying LTE in late 2010. While the number of locations has increased, Verizon is also pushing out coverage within existing areas, and today said it will also expand its existing LTE in 22 markets where it had been available.

Verizon states that it offers 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps on LTE downlinks on average and between 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps on the uplink.

AT&T is also deploying 4G LTE, and Sprint has plans to start such a network this summer.

Verizon will offer the Samsung Galaxy S III over 4G LTE as well as the Droid Incredible 4G LTE. In all, Verizon offers 24 LTE smartphones, tablets and dongles.

The carrier last week took heat from customers concerned about a new Verizon Share Everything service plans that take effect on June 28.

Existing customers are not required to move from existing nationwide plans, but new customers are. The plans set rates each month on different wireless devices, including $40 for smartphones, and add monthly costs for data that can be shared across 10 devices. All voice and texting charges are free.

The 46 new markets going live on Thursday 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.; GreaterPortland, 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. The Lihue, Hawaii market launched June 11.

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 email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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