There was nothing stopping Verizon and Sprint from launching 21 Mbps HSPA+ networks in the US like their CDMA counterparts in Canada did this November. Verizon is going to drag out the LTE deployment as long as they can because nobody is pressuring them to change their game plan and they can milk the marketplace for every cent possible using CDMA. Most Americans seems to think that CDMA is "good enough" but it is slower than HSPA 7.2 let alone 21 Mbps HSPA+. Heck, even Sprint's "4G" Wimax is twice as slow as HSPA+.
If you want real cellular competition, go to the source of the problem and pressure the CDMA carriers to beat AT&T at their own HSPA game. Canadians put on the pressure and the carriers did something about it. Are you really going to let us Canadians make your wireless industry look like a joke?
"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman