AT&T Launching LTE Network Mid 2011

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Apple’s U.S. iPhone partner, AT&T, is targeting mid 2011 for its official LTE, or 4G, wireless network launch. As part of the rollout, the cell service provider plans to offer LTE coverage to upwards of 75 million customers by the end of the year, according to FierceWireless.

LTE networks are designed to offer faster wireless data speeds along with higher user capacities compared with current 3G wireless networks.

Along with its LTE build-out plans, AT&T plans to continue enhancing its current network with HSPA+ support for better voice and data service on compatible mobile phones. The dual network technology plan AT&T is pursuing will give the carrier a fallback system should customers lose their LTE connections for any reason.

The company is also working on updating its backhaul system to handle the faster data protocols.

AT&T had been holding back on its plans to move into LTE services while waiting for the technology to mature. While the company was waiting, however, Verizon has been moving forward with its LTE network upgrades and expects to offer active networks in as many as 30 markets by the end of 2010.

Verizon might be ahead in the network upgrade game now, but AT&T is working to catch up. The company is planning on spending some US$700 million in 2010 on its LTE program, and Operations CEO John Stankey said 2011’s LTE investments “will go far beyond that.”

Comments

MOSiX Man

Great! Snarl… Just when I broke my 3Gs iPhone and paid the $250 (US) to upgrade to an iPhone 4. As of late next year, my iPhone 4 is going to be totally obsolete next to a shiny, new-fangled iPhone 4Gx! This kind of thing just goes to prove that Apple doesn’t care one bit about customers!

Well, I guess I’ll have to console myself then, by getting an iPad 3D with the 3D Retina display and LTE (stands for ‘Lighter Than Er… something’) technology. That’ll teach Apple not to mess with me!

CCardona

MosiX chill bro! Isn’t it just possible that your iPhone 4 will just connect fine to the LTE network? I mean, CDMA is still CDMA, n’est pas?

MOSiX Man

*Removes tongue from cheek* OK.

computerbandgeek

I really hope they make good on their promise of improving their wire backbone because even on the standard 3G tech I should be able to get at least 4Mb/s with good signal, instead of the typical .5 that I get in most places.

b9bot

Why don’t they finish the 3G network first and get it working right before going on to another disaster like the 3G network is. They still haven’t even allowed tethering which was supposed to have been released 2 years ago!

They need to work on the 3G network coverage before starting another network.

Moe

@ccardona: iPhone 4 doesn’t have lte or CDMA. Way to know what you’re talking about.

CCardona

@Moe, read this below from MacRumors:

“A Verizon-compatible iPhone has been the subject of long-standing rumors, with Apple reportedly having contracted with Qualcomm for CDMA chips for use in a Verizon iPhone set for launch early next year.

Consequently, speculation is naturally drifting toward Apple making the full changeover to Qualcomm if that company can also supply acceptable GSM chips, or perhaps even a single hybrid chip capable of supporting both standards.”

So, yes, the current iPhone is GSM, I knew that! I must have been thinking about the next generation CDMA phones which will do T-Mobile. But show me where it says that GSM can’t jump on an LTE network? I haven’t read that anywhere. They’ve already done 2 flavors of 3G.

BTW, you have a insulting and superior tone to your post which i don’t appreciate. I can match that: at least my name isn’t Moe! Oh, wise guy!

Ross Edwards

@Moe,
Actually, way to know what YOU are talking about.  The iPhone uses GSM for its voice transmission protocol, but all 3G, including HSPA, is built on the CDMA radio interface.  This means that every iPhone so far has been CDMA at its core, despite Apple’s simplified publicity glossing over that.

When it finally arrives, 3G-LTE will be an extension of the same system.  Go look it up; the info on this is not hard to find.

Ross Edwards

Check that: * “this means that every 3G iPhone so far has been CDMA at its core…”

Apologies for the error.

CCardona

Way to watch my back, Ross! grin

“No one knows everything.” -Me

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