February 2, 2016
The U.S. carrier race for best 4G LTE coverage continues.
Last week, AT&T proclaimed itself the king of LTE in North America, with about 355 million people covered under its 4G LTE – more than any other carrier.*
In early 2014, U.S. carriers had stated plans to improve their offerings, including better WiFi performance and expanded LTE coverage (see Expect Better Network Performance in 2015 and Carriers Will Improve Network Performance for 2015).
Looking at statistics from the second half of 2015, it looks like these plans are paying off. According to reports, North America increased its 4G connection base by 49 percent in the past year to reach 197 million, giving LTE a 47.5 percent share of the total cellular connections in the region at the end of the second quarter of 2015 (see Global Data Shows Strong 4G LTE Growth).
This growth was echoed globally, with worldwide LTE subscribers increased by 141 percent year over year, from 316.6 million in Q2 2014 to 755.2 million in Q2 2015.
Now, spurred on by its promising results, AT&T plans to use its momentum to cover 385 million people in North America by the end of 2016 by expanding its 4G LTE network into Mexico.*
Meanwhile, despite this recognition, Verizon continues to outperform its competitors with the best overall network performance, according to a report by RootMetrics based on the second half of 2015. As AT&T’s biggest rival, Verizon has also been working to expand (see Verizon Sells $15.6 Billion of Wireline Operations & Wireless Towers). The carrier maintains that 98 percent of the U.S. population is covered by Verizon’s LTE network.*