By Carlie Kollath Wells/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – C Spire started rolling out 4G LTE service Monday, a move that continues to fuel the fire about which carrier has the fastest network for users.
The 4G network is geared toward data users who browse the Internet, watch videos, play music, share photos and send emails from their mobile devices.
C Spire said its 4G LTE service is 10 times faster than its current 3G service.
McComb, Brookhaven, Meridian and Greenville were the first markets to get service.
The company in a news release Monday said it would roll out 4G to 31 markets by the end of October.
Tupelo is listed next on the priority list posted on CSpire.com/4G.
The site also says six unnamed communities in Lee and Prentiss counties will be next.
C Spire spokesman Dave Miller said Tupelo is on schedule to get 4G service this month.
Other Northeast Mississippi cities listed in the schedule are Starkville, West Point, Oxford, Corinth, New Albany, Pontotoc, Booneville and 21 unnamed communities in Lee, Union, Tippah, Prentiss and Pontotoc counties.
Miller said it will keep rolling out service in waves each week until the end of October.
The launch comes after a delay of nearly a year. C Spire originally had planned to roll out 4G by the end of 2011, according to Engadget.com.
In 2010, C Spire, which was known then as Cellular South, partnered with Samsung Mobile to build and deploy a fourth-generation mobile broadband network using long-term evolution technology, commonly called 4G LTE.
Users need a 4G-enabled device to access the new network, along with a data package.
On Monday, C Spire said its first 4G phone now is available.
The Motorola Photon Q retails for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
C Spire said the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Franklin Wireless 2-in-1 USB smart modem and mobile hotspot are both “coming soon.”
C Spire in April filed a lawsuit against ATamp&T and two of its suppliers for allegedly colluding and keeping compatible 4G LTE devices away from C Spire, according to Cnet.com.