September 17, 2011
AT&T 4G LTE Network Launching In Five Cities Sunday
American telecom giant AT&T will officially launch their fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE) high-speed network in five U.S. markets on Sunday, various media outlets are reporting.
According to Phil Goldstein of FierceWireless.com, the announcement came from John Stephens, the company's CFO, during an appearance at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Entertainment & Communications conference Friday.
The 4G LTE service will launch in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, AT&T told AFP reporters on Friday. The company also vowed that the service would be added to 10 additional U.S. cities before the end of the year.
The September 16 release marks a slight delay from the company's original LTE plans, claims CNET reporter Jessica Dolcourt. AT&T had previously announced that they would be launching the high-speed data network in mid-2011, she said.
"AT&T has seeded the market with LTE devices prior to the launch," Goldstein said. "The company began selling its first two LTE devices--the USB Connect Momentum 4G modem and the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, both made by Sierra Wireless--on Aug. 21. The devices are available for $49.99 and $69.99, respectively, with a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate."
The company also announced that the USBConnect Adrenaline, their LG-developed HSPA+ USB modem, could be upgraded to LTE through an August 26 software update. Goldstein added that the first AT&T LTE tablet, the HTC Jetstream, recently launched for a cost of $850 (though signing a two-year service contract with AT&T results in a $150 savings off that MSRP).
AT&T network architecture and planning executive Kris Rinne told the Associated Press (AP) on Friday that customers will not need to purchase a new data plan to use the AG LTE network. The higher-speed service will be a "perk" included with existing plans, and will allow for download speeds of 5 megabits to 12 megabits per second, according to Rinne.
"That's enough to download a DVD-quality two-hour movie in 15 minutes," the AP noted. "Upload speeds on the LTE network are also significantly higher than on regular '4G,' clocking in at 2 megabits to 5 megabits per second, Rinne said. That's fast enough to send one minute of high-definition video from a tablet to Facebook in three minutes."
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