AT&T demonstrated a trial Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to GigaOm (via AppleInsider) on Thursday, showing download speeds of up to 28.87Mbps and upload speeds of 10.4Mbps. The network is setup on the company’s Foundry R&D space in Plano, TX, and was built using two different swaths of spectrum to maximize data throughput.
LTE is often referred to as a “4G” network, though standards organizations are still hammering out just what “4G” will mean. Be that as it may, LTE is the next big thing in U.S. for mobile phones, and different implementations of LTE have been deployed by AT&T competitors Verizon and regional players like MetroPCS, while Sprint launched a competing “4G” technology called WiMAX 4G in 2008.
The speed demonstrated by AT&T would make its LTE implentation the fastest in the U.S. market, crushing the 5-12Mbps that Verizon has been promising its customers, which itself is far faster than the 3.8Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up that iPhone users get on a good day on AT&T’s 3G network.
GigaOm was told, however, that once multiple phones started competing for data on a cell tower, those super fast speeds would be lower. Just how much lower isn’t known, but the AT&T execs giving the tour of the Foundry pitched reporters on the notion that they were trying to demonstrate real-world situations.
No launch date for nationwide or even regional LTE service has been announced, and it’s not known when Apple will be adding support for LTE to its iPhone line.