First AT&T LTE Phone Announced by the End of 2011


on August 11, 2011   |   1 comment

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AT&T has just recently started implementing its own LTE network and it thus comes as no surprise that it will only start offering 4G LTE-enabled smartphones towards the end of 2011.

Indeed, no specific date was set for any LTE phone release and AT&T’s senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets, Peter Ritcher confirmed that the company will first focus on network deployment and then on product development and launching. AT&T explains that before offering an LTE phone, it needs to be able to have networks that support the technology too. AT&T customers can, until then, enjoy AT&T’s LTE data cards and routers to connect their laptops to the new LTE network.

During the summer, AT&T will deploy its network in five markets — Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio — and hopes to cover 15 markets and 70 million Americans by the end of the year.

LTE leader Verizon Wireless is already covering all major US markets and has a comfortable head start over AT&T even though both carriers are promoting similar data transmission speeds on their 4G LTE networks. However, Peter Ritcher emphasized that in case an AT&T customer finds him/herself in an area not yet covered by AT&T’s LTE, he/she will fall back on the carrier’s HSPA+ network, which supposedly allows considerably faster speeds than Verizon’s EV-DO support network.

AT&T’s efforts to build a network before offering new LTE devices might not be the news that LTE-eager customers may want to hear, but it for sure, makes more sense than releasing multiple products on a non-existing network.

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