Chicago - Regional carrier U.S. Cellular, which previously announced plans to roll out 4G LTE service in March in select markets, said it will further expand its LTE network in the second half to reach 54 percent of the population in its network footprint.
The March rollout will reach 25 percent of the population in the carrier's markets.
U.S. Cellular also announced plans to offer additional LTE devices. Previously, the carrier said March's network launch would coincide with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE tablet followed soon by the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator LTE smartphone, which enables users to talk and access the web simultaneously. Those devices will be joined in the spring by the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, and the company promised to launch a 4G LTE modem and additional 4G LTE smartphones throughout the rest of the year.
The 2.7-ounce Samsung Mobile Hotspot provides Internet connectivity for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously.
The March rollout of LTE service includes select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. Some of these cities include Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wis.; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, N.C.
By the end of 2012, additional markets offering LTE will include select cities in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Some of the cities included are in the areas of Rockford and Peoria, Ill.; Columbia and Jefferson City, Mo.; Manchester, N.H.; Wilmington and Jacksonville, N.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; Medford, Ore.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va.; Yakima and the Tri-Cities, Wash.; Morgantown, W. Va. and LaCrosse and Beloit, Wis.
U.S. Cellular is rolling out 4G service in conjunction with King Street Wireless, in which the carrier is a limited partner. King Street Wireless was the winning bidder of 152 700MHz wireless licenses covering portions of 27 states. The licenses are in markets that are either next to or overlap with current U.S. Cellular license areas.