We heard earlier today that AT&T would be detailing the plans of their 4G rollout, and now all of that information has finally come to light. First up, the network itself. AT&T now says that it has a 4G network, following in T-Mobile's footsteps by branding their HSPA+ coverage as 4G. They still plan to begin rolling out LTE 4G in the middle of 2011, with the entire thing expected to be complete by the end of 2013.
Now that they can claim to have 4G coverage, AT&T needs a suite of devices to run on that shiny "new" network, right? The company announced today that they plan to launch 20 4G-capable devices by the end of 2011, some of which will be exclusive to AT&T. They'll also be committing to Android in a major way, bringing in "more than" 12 Android devices this year. The first two 4G smartphones on ATT's network will be the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G, and they'll be coming in Q1 2011. The 4.5-inch Samsung Infuse 4G is expected to arrive in Q2. Finally, AT&T will be getting in on the tablet craze, too: the first of which will be a Motorola-made Honeycomb device with a 10.1-inch display, 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, and HSPA+ connectivity (no LTE here). The second tablet will feature LTE, and that's about all we know about it right now. Both are expected to arrive by "mid-summer." Check out the full press release below.
While I'm disappointed to see that AT&T is still going to wait until the middle of 2011 to flip their LTE switch, I'd say that the good (tons of new HSPA+ phones, including lots of Android) outweighs the bad here. As you've no doubt seen in the past, AT&T hasn't had the greatest Android selection before today, leaning heavily on the popularity of the iPhone. Now that Apple's device will likely be heading to Verizon soon, though, AT&T is bringing in a trio of high-end Android phones, immediately becoming a major player in the Android world. What do you all think of AT&T's 4G and Android strategies?
AT&T Announces Plans to Deliver Nation’s Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience
Nation's Fastest Mobile Broadband Network Getting Faster with 4G; Accelerates LTE network build -- to be largely complete by YE 2013. Completes HSPA+ deployment to virtually 100% of network, enabling 4G speeds with expanded backhaul; widens lead in smartphones & devices -- 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including industry-leading Android lineup; expands lead in Mobile Apps with new initiatives to speed collaboration, development.
AT&T* today said it is building the nation's most advanced mobile broadband experience by pursuing three key initiatives:
NETWORK: AT&T operates the nation's fastest mobile broadband network today, and it's getting faster in 2011 with 4G. AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to delivering 4G using both HSPA+ and LTE technologies – providing a faster and more consistent experience for customers. The company announced plans today to accelerate its LTE network build, to be largely complete by yearend 2013; AT&T plans to begin its launch of LTE service in mid 2011. Additionally, the company said it has completed its deployment of HSPA+ to virtually 100 percent of its mobile broadband network which enables 4G speeds when combined with Ethernet or fiber backhaul. The company is rapidly expanding Ethernet and fiber to cell sites nationwide -- adding new cell sites weekly -- and by yearend, expects that nearly two-thirds of its mobile broadband traffic will be on expanded backhaul.
Today, AT&T is already seeing 4G speeds on its existing HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul in areas of key markets. In these areas, AT&T is seeing network speeds up to approximately 6 Mbps** -- and expects these speeds will increase as it accelerates its LTE build and further deploys expanded backhaul.
SMARTPHONES & DEVICES: AT&T is the leader in smartphones and devices, and expects to widen that lead in 2011. The company plans to introduce 20 4G devices by the end of the year, some on an exclusive basis. The company today announced a new commitment to deliver an industry-leading Android portfolio, including more than 12 new Android devices in 2011. AT&T expects to offer two 4G smartphones in the first quarter which will join its two existing 4G-compatible laptop cards, available since last fall. AT&T plans to offer five to seven 4G devices in its lineup in the first half of 2011.
APPLICATIONS: AT&T provides its customers access to more mobile applications than any other carrier. In 2011, the company plans to expand its leadership in apps with new initiatives to speed collaboration with apps developers and further open AT&T’s network capabilities to the development community.
" The key to delivering a true 4G experience is to have the combination of network, devices and applications, which together will give our customers the best and most advanced mobile broadband experience -- today and tomorrow,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Recent tax law incentives, along with other policy developments, have allowed us to accelerate the capital investment -- beginning in 2011 -- to largely complete our LTE network build by the end of 2013. This will not only benefit our customers, but will, we hope, benefit the economy as a whole.”
Nation’s fastest mobile broadband network getting faster with 4G
Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network today, according to independent expert testing, and its network roadmap will distinguish AT&T as the industry moves towards 4G/LTE technology over the next several years. He spoke at AT&T's Developer Summit, held annually in conjunction with the 2011 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
"AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to both HSPA+ and LTE technologies,” said de la Vega. “Today our customers are benefitting as we repeatedly increase speeds on our mobile broadband network. As we accelerate our LTE network build, our customers will have blazing fast LTE speeds and when they go off LTE, they will still have faster mobile broadband speeds with HSPA+ -- something our competitors will not be able to match.”
Additional information available at www.att.com/network (website available after 10 a.m., PT on Jan. 5)
Industry-leading device portfolio expands with powerful 4G devices
On the device front, de la Vega said AT&T plans to offer 20 4G devices in 2011. In the first half of 2011, AT&T plans to feature a best-in-class portfolio of HSPA+ devices; in the second half of the year, it plans to also add LTE devices, including a leading collection of smartphones, tablets, modems and mobile hotspots.
"Today we are the clear leader when it comes to offering the most extensive line-up of handsets and devices," he said. "We plan to strengthen our portfolio with powerful 4G devices and a major new commitment to offer an industry-leading portfolio of Android devices.”
"The upcoming lineup of 4G Android smartphones from AT&T is truly cutting-edge,” said Andy Rubin, vice president of Engineering at Google. “These devices coupled with the recent deployment of carrier billing as an Android Market purchase option for AT&T customers
are great examples of AT&T's commitment to smartphone leadership."
With over 100,000 applications available in Android Market plus carrier billing, AT&T customers can more easily shop for the latest apps for Android smartphones.
The Motorola ATRIX™ 4G Android 2.2 smartphone will be offered exclusively by AT&T and is the world’s most powerful smartphone. Featuring a 1 GHz dual-core processor, ATRIX 4G delivers a remarkable combination of application processing power, 4G network speed and a high-resolution qHD display. It will be complemented by breakthrough accessories that include a revolutionary, super-thin laptop dock -- for which ATRIX 4G is the “engine” -- and an HD media dock that uses ATRIX 4G’s HDMI video output capabilities and processing power to enable a revolutionary browsing, application and media experience. For more information, visit www.att.com/atrix4G (website available after 10 a.m. PT on Jan. 5). This device is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
The HTC Inspire™4G is a stunning, 4.3-inch super LCD smartphone running on Android 2.2 smartphone and the first in North America to feature the next-generation HTC Sense™ platform with cloud services. The new Sense platform can pinpoint on a map a lost phone, send a command to sound an alert on the handset, and remotely wipe the phone’s data with a single command through http://www.htcsense.com/. Inspire 4G also delivers an 8-megapixel camera and a HD video recorder. The HTC Inspire 4G will include a 1 GHZ processor, while also boasting a premium, aluminum unibody design. For more information, visit www.att.com/inspire4G (website available after 10 a.m., PT on Jan. 5). This device is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
The Samsung Infuse™ 4G will be the thinnest Android device and feature the largest screen -- at 4.5 inches -- in AT&T’s smartphone lineup. The device delivers a brilliant display using Samsung’s next-generation Super AMOLED™ Plus technology which features 50% more sub-pixels for better contrast and outdoor readability. The Infuse will be powered by a 1.2 GHz application processor and run the Android 2.2 platform. This device is slated for launch in the second quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
4G Tablets – AT&T plans to launch two 4G tablets, including its first LTE tablet, by mid summer. Additional LTE tablets are planned for the second half of 2011.
Additional device specifications and images are available at www.att.com/ces-news.