AT&T Confirms First 4G LTE Smartphone for End of 2011

August 11, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

This was something we had expecting to hear without much delay. AT&T has confirmed that at least one 4G LTE smartphone will be launched by the year-end on their network.

The confirmation comes from none other than the senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets Pete Ritcher at the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference. He made it clear that AT&T is planning to roll out LTE in 15 markets covering 70 million people by the year-end. The company plans a market-by-market launch of LTE and will offer laptop LTE data cards along with it.

The carrier is targeting to launch 4G LTE in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer and will later be widened to other areas.

Ritcher has emphasized that customers will switch to HSPA+ speeds when outside of AT&T’s LTE coverage area and also reminded that the Verizon’s 4G customers fall back to the slower EV-DO network when out of 4G coverage.

We hear the company will spend more on the HSPA+ network by accelerating the speed of HSPA+. It is believed that the carrier is waiting for some mature LTE handsets before the LTE service is launched.

AT&T seems to believe that new and existing customers will shift to the company’s LTE network so as to get faster speeds and the newest of devices. That, in turn, will also make their 3G network less congested.

Are you also waiting for AT&T to usher in their first 4G LTE smartphone?

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