Steamboat Verizon Wireless customers see upgrade to LTE service

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— Some Steamboat Springs Verizon Wireless customers on Wednesday noticed improved service delivering high-speed data.

With recent additions coming online Thursday, Verizon announced it now has 4G LTE service available in 470 markets, though Steamboat is not included in that count.

“As we move closer to the official launch in other areas of the high country, Verizon customers with LTE capable devices may pick up the 4G signal as we continue to fine-tune and optimize the network,” Verizon spokesman Bob Kelley wrote in an email.

Kelley said Verizon is finalizing the implementation of 4G LTE in Steamboat, and it likely officially would be operational in January.

With 4G LTE, Verizon said that customers using compatible cellular devices will experience speeds 10 times faster for Web surfing, music and video downloading, social media sharing and other file downloads. Such LTE service already has been available in other parts of Colorado, including the Front Range and in Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail.

Kelley said the 4G LTE upgrades in Steamboat will benefit only Verizon customers.

AT&T wireless customers currently have access to 4G in Steamboat, which is slower than 4G LTE but as much as four times faster than 3G. AT&T spokeswoman Suzanne Trantow wrote in an email Thursday that AT&T currently offers 4G LTE in 120 markets and that the company expects to announce additional LTE market launches on an ongoing basis.

“I do not have specific information about Steamboat at this time,” Trantow said.

She said AT&T expects to offer 4G LTE to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014.

Trantow said that in November, AT&T launched two new cell sites in Steamboat, one downtown and the other at Steamboat Boulevard and Golf Course Road.

“These new 4G mobile Internet cell sites in Steamboat will enhance coverage for area residents and businesses and provide speeds up to four times faster than 3G,” Trantow said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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