If you’re planning on buying an iPhone 5 for its expected superfast 4G LTE compatibility, your choice of carrier will be important for taking advantage of those 4G speeds. Below are the 4G LTE maps for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, pulled from the carrier’s official websites at the time of this writing (September 10, 2012). Of course, the process of choosing a carrier should include weighing other factors, but if you’re hardcore into 4G LTE and speed, speed, speed, the maps below should help.
Verizon LTE Map
Green dots = 4G LTE.
Verizon: Verizon has the biggest LTE footprint by far of the big 3 carriers. It is available in 371 cities across the US with around 30 more coming by the end of 2012. Click here for Verizon’s official page for its LTE map. On Verizon’s LTE map page, you can enter in specific addresses or zip codes to find if you’re covered by LTE.
AT&T LTE Map
Orange dots = 4G LTE. Yellow = coming soon.
AT&T Wireless: AT&T comes in a distant second with only 53 markets with LTE coverage. It plans to to add on 40 more markets by the end of 2012, bringing the total to around 90. Compare this to Verizon’s 400 total planned markets by the same time, and it’s not very impressive, but keep in mind AT&T does have that HSPA+ 3G network, which is faster than Verizon’s 3G. AT&T’s official LTE map is a bit harder to find. You’ll need to go to their Network page and click on the Coverage tab toward the bottom. A list of cities can be found here.
Sprint LTE Map
Orange dots = 4G LTE.
Sprint: Sprint has a mere 19 markets that offer 4G LTE. Sprint bet on another 4G technology called WiMAX, which is available in around 70 markets but will not be compatible with the iPhone 5. Sprint’s network map can be found here, just make sure to select 4G LTE and not 4G WiMAX. Sprint just announced that they plan on adding 100 more markets by the end of 2013.