Re: There are two Americas
I think you're saying that the _average_ population density in the US is much lower than it is in western Europe, which is self-evident.
Well, yes. Except poor coverage in the US starts a lot closer to the built-up areas than in Europe. Even in Silicon Valley, coverage is very poor once you get away from the main centres of population and the motorways.
Absent government subsidies (as were given in ages past for rural free mail delivery), there is no economic incentive for the telecoms to build out in the great empty.
Whereas it was a requirement of the licences awarded in Europe that at least 90% of the population / area (varies from country to country) are covered. Part of the cost of providing this more or less universal coverage is also holding back the buildout of LTE.
Then again, the stubborn refusal of us European to pay US prices – doesn't matter whether it's telephone, internet or pay TV – has led to a more competitive and more advanced business model with more and more specialisation and joint ventures with the equipment makers.