The year 2013 is coming to an end, and that means that you'll be seeing plenty of best-of lists, year in review recaps and more. Today the folks over at AT&T gave us a rundown of how their year went and what they've got up their sleeves for 2014.
As I'm sure many mobile fans have noticed, smart device usage has grown quite a bit in recent years. From 2001 to 2007, mobile data traffic in the U.S. grew by 75,000 percent, and in the six years since, mobile data traffic on AT&T's network shot up over 30,000 percent. The big blue carrier reports that as of the third quarter of 2013, it's moved 51.9 petabytes (that's 54421094.4 gigabytes) of traffic over its near-one million miles of fiber wrapped around the globe.
In response to all of those data-hungry smartphones, tablets and other mobile hardware, AT&T has been working on building a network that feed their appetites. The operator says that its 4G LTE rollout is ahead of schedule, with service that covers over 250 million people in 488 markets.
Its work has been paying off, as AT&T's LTE network was recognized as having faster download and upload speeds than its competition in a 20-market speed test conducted by PCWorld/TechHive. Additionally, PC Magazine named AT&T's LTE network the fastest in the country, awarding it the top ranking in all six regions of the U.S. Rounding out AT&T's recent accolades is an article in the January 2014 edition of Consumer Reports in which AT&T was said to be the "Best Choice for 4G Service" that was described as "the most problem-free" and also earned the highest satisfaction rating in a survey of 58,000 subscribers conducted this past fall.
Looking ahead, AT&T plans to continue improving its network as consumers continue to buy data devices like smartphones and tablets. AT&T says that it will be "substantially complete" with its 4G LTE network deployment by the summer of 2014. It also plans to roll out over 40,000 Small Cells, 10,000 macro cells and more than 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS) by the end of 2015 to help handle all of the data traffic on its network.