Verizon Wireless announced Thursday that its faster 4G cellular network is now turned on in Utah County.
Known as LTE, the faster broadband network for mobile devices such as cellphones and computer tablets now covers cities such as Provo, Lindon, Orem and Lehi from the southern Utah County border all the way into Salt Lake County, according to Verizon spokesman Bob Kelley.
"It's a contiguous footprint from Salt Lake to Provo," he said.
Provo is one of 15 U.S. metro areas in which Verizon's 4G network was turned on Thursday, according to a Verizon release. Other cities include Tucson, Ariz.; Omaha, Neb.; Memphis, Tenn; and Albany, Ithaca and Syracuse, N.Y. The service also was expanded in 10 other markets where it's already turned on. As of Thursday, Verizon's 4G network is now covering 117 cities.
The network was switched on in Salt Lake City on June 21 and extends from the base of the Wasatch Mountains west to West Valley City and north to the Rose Park neighborhood. It also was expanded to the Ogden metro area in July. Verizon hopes to have its complete rollout of the 4G network done by 2013.
With the new 4G network, users can get download speeds from 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and 2 to 5 Mbps during uploads, as much as 10 times faster than Verizon's older 3G network. It also will allow users to talk on the phone and surf the Web at the same time, something that cannot be done on the 3G network.
Meanwhile, Sprint has its own 4G network up and running in the Salt Lake area. AT&T is currently working on its LTE-based 4G network and has not said when it will be turned on in Salt Lake.
Currently, there are 10 devices that are compatible with Verizon's 4G network, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 computer tablet and the HTC Thunderbolt mobile phone.
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