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AT&T 4G LTE logo

AT&T has long been teasing its plans for voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, and today the big blue carrier kept it up by revealing that we'll see its first VoLTE-capable smartphone arrive in 2013.

Krish Prabhu, President at AT&T Labs, said today that he believes that AT&T will introduce a new device with VoLTE support in time for the 2013 holiday season. No details on the mystery product were given, but FierceWireless notes that Prabhu did drop some knowledge regarding AT&T's general VoLTE rollout, saying that his carrier's VoLTE network upgrade tests are currently underway ahead of a wider rollout in 2014.

In other AT&T LTE news, Prabhu said that the big blue operator plans to conduct some LTE carrier aggregation testing later this year. Carrier aggregation allows companies to combine different spectrum bands in order to increase bandwidth and data rates. 

Prabhu also reiterated that AT&T is planning to wrap up its 4G LTE deployment next year, at which point its LTE network will cover 300 million POPs. AT&T's LTE footprint currently covers 240 million POPs and is expected to grow to 270 million by the time that 2013 comes to an end. AT&T also intends to activate 10,000 macro cell sites by the end of 2015 to help fill in the holes in its existing coverage.

Even though it'll be a while before most AT&T customers actually experience the network enhancements revealed by Prabhu today, it's good to hear that AT&T is prepping tests for future LTE technologies while continuing its initial LTE deployment. The big blue carrier has steadily been adding new markets to its LTE footprint as of late, and so long as it keeps this pace up, it shouldn't have much trouble finishing up its LTE rollout by next summer. Do you have access to AT&T's 4G LTE network yet?

Via FierceWireless


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