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It has been nearly two months since AT&T officially turned on its 4G LTE network in the Seattle area — offering speeds that are as much as 10 times faster than its 3G network.

Now, the carrier is bolstering its LTE coverage in the greater Seattle area, optimizing the network for gadget and speed freaks. The company also announced that the 4G LTE network is now available in Tacoma, Federal Way, Auburn, Lakewood, Puyallup and several other south Puget Sound area cities.

The expansion come at a critical time as gadget shoppers prepare for the holiday season, and perhaps weigh the benefits of their carriers. (I’m currently evaluating an upgrade to the iPhone 5, an LTE-enabled device).

LTE is considered a far superior technology than existing networks in part because it speeds up the time it takes to move data through the network. AT&T also notes that LTE more efficiently utilizes wireless spectrum, in essence creating more space for data traffic.

AT&T remains locked in a battle with Verizon for network supremacy, and as of early September Verizon held the lead, according to a report from Root Metrics. We’ll have to wait and see if the latest enhancements help AT&T gain some ground on its rival.

Average download and upload speed of various carriers. Source: Root Metrics report from Sept. 11.
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