Looks like we'll soon be adding another carrier to the list of U.S. operators offering 4G LTE coverage, as Leap Wireless has announced that it plans to activate coverage in its first LTE market next week. Leap, which is the parent company of Cricket, hasn't said which city will be the lucky one to get access to its LTE service first. However, the company does plan to announce additional LTE markets in November. Leap spokesperson Greg Lund told Fierce Wireless that the carrier expects to have 21 million POPs covered with LTE by the end of the year, with the service reaching two-thirds the size of its current network by 2015.
When it comes to LTE-capable hardware, the lone device that Leap plans to offer next week is the Huawei Boltz, a mobile broadband modem. Cricket does offer the LTE-capable iPhone 5, but Lund wouldn't comment on whether or not the carrier plans to support that feature on Apple's smartphone.
Leap has been testing its LTE network in Tucson, Ariz., since December of last year, so it's good to finally see the carrier getting ready to roll its LTE service out to the public. The Boltz may not be exactly what smartphone-hungry Leap customers are waiting for in an LTE device, but Leap spokesperson Greg Lund has previously said that half of Cricket's smartphone roster is expected to be LTE-capable next year, so subscribers have something to look forward to. Once we learn which town will be Leap's first LTE market, we'll be sure to give you a shout, so stay tuned.