Ina Fried

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AT&T Lights Up LTE in 11 More Cities, Including L.A., N.Y. and San Francisco

AT&T took a big step toward expanding its high-speed LTE network, announcing on Thursday that it has added 11 more areas, including Los Angeles, the New York Metro Area and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Also getting the service are Austin; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Orlando; Phoenix; Raleigh, N.C.; and San Diego, Calif.

That’s in addition to the 15 other markets in which AT&T launched LTE last year. Of course, AT&T still trails Verizon, which has coverage in 190 markets, with service available to more than 200 million people.

Sprint, meanwhile, has much of the country covered with an alternate 4G technology, WiMax. However, Sprint has announced plans to launch an LTE network of its own later this year.

Constrained by spectrum, T-Mobile USA has focused on rolling out ever-faster variants of its 3G network. The company had hoped a merger with AT&T would solve its problems, but is now scrambling for other options since that deal collapsed.

Update, 1 p.m.: In a Twitter posting, Sprint noted on Wednesday that it plans to launch its LTE service in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio by mid-year.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus