AT&T Announces 4G LTE Network Plans
AT&T has announced that they have reached agreements with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson to supply the components to transition AT&T’s network from 3G to LTE (4G) technology. LTE would not only be a lot faster (around 140-300Mbps, ie. “crazy fast”), but also a lot more reliable. The back-end updates to their network are also helping to prepare for the network change. They say field testing should start later this year with a rollout sometime in 2011.
The selection of the two suppliers paves the way for AT&T’s planned field trials of LTE technology later this year, with commercial deployment scheduled to begin in 2011. AT&T’s LTE rollout schedule aligns with industry expectations for development of LTE technology and widespread availability of equipment and compatible LTE mobile devices. The supplier agreements also complement AT&T’s plans to make the nation’s fastest 3G network even faster in advance of LTE networks and devices scaling, allowing the company to continue delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience in the nation.
As it stands, Verizon’s 4G network is the best chance they have for becoming an iPhone carrier in the future, but Apple may not feel compelled to switch if AT&T can get a widespread 4G network soon enough.