AT&T announces LTE launch in five U.S. cities – finally some ‘real’ 4G

AT&T has just announced that it will launch LTE in five U.S. cities this summer: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The announcement was made by AT&T Business Solutions President and CEO John Stankey during the Barclays Capital Global Communications, Media and Technology Conference. Finally, AT&T will have a true 4G network – none of this HSPA+ I-want-to-be-4G-too stuff.

GigaOm reports:

AT&T has delivered five mobile broadband speed upgrades in recent years, including our HSPA+ deployment last year. And average nationwide speeds on the AT&T network have increased – more than 40 percent over the past two years alone.

The next network evolution will arrive this summer with the addition of LTE in five markets – Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio. We plan to add another 10 or more markets in the second half of the year, and cover 70 million Americans with LTE by year-end. We also have plans to add 20 4G devices to our robust device portfolio this year, with some of those being LTE capable.

It’s true that AT&T has upgraded its 3G network to handle faster data speeds, but “4G” it is not (I don’t care how much it argues the ITU’s new set of rules). Still, I have no real complaints. My iPhone, when it works, gets download speeds in the average range of 3Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up. Reliably. On the other hand, “4G” branded devices like the Motorola Atrix or the Samsung Infuse have seen worse speeds or upload caps.

LTE is probably one of the best things that will happen to AT&T customers. With a true 4G network like LTE, latency times and download speeds will be remarkably improved over AT&T’s current 3G-fake-4G network. It should also be able to handle traffic and load much better than the current HSPA+ infrastructure, too.

I, for one, can’t wait until the big cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco get lit up with LTE.

[Via: GigaOm]

  • HSPA+ is in my opinion 4G. Why? Well its latency is just as low as LTE or WiMAX is supposed to be. It can handle voice and data just like LTE and WiMAX. It could handle VoIP if implemented just like LTE and WiMAX. It can, with MIMO and Multi-Carrier technologies and higher QAM modulation achieve speeds relatively close to the max of both LTE and WiMAX, there is no reason to think that HSPA+ isnt 4G when you look at that. 
    Is 4G now determined by completely new technologies not built on or based of previous, because if so, then LTE and WiMAX would be 1G Advanced, since its a new technology completely from the ground up. But if you wanna base a current technology that is able to upgrade and advance itself to these new technology speeds, quality of service, and latency perfomance, then there is no reason to assume that a 3G-built technology cant also be marketed as “4G” and personally, if I was building a network Id be more proud to market that my 3G network does everything a 4G network does, and has backward compatibility and more room to grow faster without needing to deploy a new network on top of an old one.

    • Anonymous

      Except HSPA+ has different categories and the one AT&T is using isn’t as fast as LTE or WiMax. Also, W-CDMA and OFDMA handle load and throughput a little differently – the latter is used by LTE and WiMax and are generally “bigger pipes” for data throughput.

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