AT&T moving to LTE in mid-2011, upgrading to HSPA Plus in the mean timeAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
There has been quite a bit of 4G news in the past couple of days, with Sprint expanding its WiMAX service and Verizon announcing that it will have LTE live in 30 cities by the end of the year. Not wanting to be left out of the high-speed fun, AT&T has said that it will be launching its LTE network by mid-2011. The carrier is already conducting LTE trials in Dallas and Baltimore and will end up spending $700 million on their 4G network this year, with substantially more investments to take place next year. In the mean time, AT&T is also preparing for a nationwide HSPA+ upgrade to take place this year which will deliver real-world speeds of 7 Mbps.
We've heard in the past that AT&T had planned to upgrade its network to 14.4 Mbps speeds in some locations before moving on to 4G, but now it appears that the carrier has changed their tune. Perhaps they're feeling some heat from Verizon and Sprint's 4G strategies? Whatever the reason, I'm just glad that we're going to see another carrier make their 4G network publicly available. Sure, those of us on AT&T will be waiting a little longer than Sprint and Verizon customers for 4G, but at least the HSPA+ upgrade will keep us warm and happy in the mean time, right?