SOUTHFIELD — Verizon Wireless expanded its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Sault Ste. Marie and its immediate surrounding communities.

Customers who visit or live in the covered area can use their Verizon 4G LTE devices to surf the Internet, stream music and video, and stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues at speeds up to 10 times faster than on the 3G network.

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With the expansion, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network is available in more than 500 markets across the United States covering more than 99 percent of its 3G coverage area. Verizon’s 4G LTE coverage reaches more than 298 million people nationwide — more than 95 percent of the U.S. population.

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“We are in the final stages of rolling out our advanced 4G LTE network in Michigan and across the United States,” said John Granby, president of the Michigan-Indiana-Kentucky Region of Verizon Wireless. “This means that regardless of where our customers live, work or visit, they will enjoy the network quality, consistently reliable speeds and coast-to-coast coverage from us virtually everywhere they go.”

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In real-world, fully loaded network environments, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE customers in the coverage area should experience average data rates of five to 12 megabits (Mbps) per second on the downlink and two to five Mbps on the uplink.