Verizon’s LTE network to reach 400th market next week

Verizon Wireless said its faster data network using Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology will reach its 400th market next week.

Adding coverage in Columbia and 20 other markets on Oct. 18 will push its total to 417 markets. The total far exceeds other carriers’ LTE reach and hits Verizon’s 400-market milestone ahead of its year-end goal.

AT&T Inc. has LTE coverage in 76 markets. It also promotes its national HSPA+ network as providing fourth-generation speeds where it has not yet launched LTE service.

Sprint Nextel Corp. has LTE service in 24 markets.

All three carriers count the Kansas City area among their covered markets. Verizon’s announcement said it was expanding coverage here and in 36 other markets.

Verizon said its LTE network carried 35 percent of its customers’ data traffic at the end of September. Access to each carrier’s network requires an LTE-equipped device.