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sprint-logoSprint customers in Seattle will finally be able to have access to 4G LTE service.

The nation’s third-largest wireless carrier announced today that it is expanding its 4G LTE coverage to 28 markets, including Seattle, San Jose, Miami and Cleveland. Several other areas of Washington, including Tacoma, Everett, and Yakima now have 4G LTE coverage from Sprint, which has upped its 4G-enabled cities to nearly 500.

Sprint, which also rolled out HD Voice and a 30-day satisfaction guaranteed deal today, is expanding its high-speed Internet offering just as an official deal between Sprint and T-Mobile — the fourth largest U.S. carrier — is expected to be announced in August, with Sprint acquiring T-Mobile for about $40 a share in cash and stock for a total value of $32 billion.

John Legere
John Legere

The deal would create a robust coverage network and a company that would certainly challenge AT&T and Verizon. In an interview with GeekWire this week, T-Mobile CEO Legere made the case for the merger, noting that consolidation is coming in the industry.

“I know what we’ve done in the last year-and-a-half is a small inkling of what real competition is like,” Legere said. “In order to keep it going, there’s things we need in the long term — scale, spectrum, etc. And one way to get those is consolidation.”

Regulators torpedoed a $39 billion deal between AT&T and T-Mobile in 2011.

If an acquisition agreement is reached, and approved by regulators, Legere is reportedly in line to lead the combined company.

Bellevue-based T-Mobile has been adding customers at a record pace following a series of moves by Legere and his team to shake up the wireless industry. Sprint, meanwhile, reported a loss of $151 million (4 cents per share) in Q1 2014, which actually beat Wall Street’s expectations and was far lower than its $643 million loss at this time last year. But the carrier also suffered a net loss of 467,000 subscribers, up by 52,000 from Q1 2013.

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