AT&T launching its LTE network Sunday in 5 cities

AT&T is throwing the switch on its LTE network this Sunday, according to CFO John Stephens. Only five cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio -- will be live at launch, but the carrier expects to triple that by the end of the year. (You can ignore the 70 million number that gets thrown around with that expansion -- that's total population for the markets, not actually how many people will be using AT&T's LTE.)

We still don't have any LTE-capable Android smartphones (AT&T says we should by the end of the year, and the HTC Holiday may be among them), but the overpriced HTC Jetstream Honeycomb tablet can.

Source: Fierce Wireless

  • Only 5 cities? I notice that New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are missing. and 3 times as many markets by years end means only 15 total markets before the Holidays. And zero LTE phones? who does ATT think they are, Sprint (referring to launch of EVO 4G last June nationwide when only a few markets had 4G coverage). Didn't Sprint launch 4G with a hotspot, 1 phone and more than 5 markets? I guess ATT "does" need T-Mobile :)
  • ATT has never been very good at those kind of things. My guess is that its due to the upcoming iPhone launch (LTE). Sprint is going to be the one in trouble if they don't get their LTE up and running.
  • I'm not convinced the next iPhone will include LTE. Jobs doesn't like anything that negatively impacts the performance of his baby no matter the benefits, and LTE right now is a battery sucker. Sure, you could put in a toggle to turn it on and off like the Bionic, but that runs counter to the Apple "it just works" approach. Also, if the rumors of a Sprint iPhone are true, it seems strange that Apple would make both an LTE and a WiMax version. My guess is the first iPhone to have 4G won't appear until next year, when all carriers have real 4G in the wild.
  • No way in hell the next iphone has LTE. What would Steve sell to the sheep next year?
  • Yea um....The current 4G leader VZW didn't have any LTE capable phones when they launched their network last fall either. Nor did they just flip the switch for 4G in every single market they compete in either. This is how rollouts are done. Or would you rather them just turn it on everywhere, offer a ton of LTE Android and iPhone capable devices on it, only to have the whole thing crash with spotty service because it's overloaded. I personally would like them to take their time with this one.....
  • "Yea um....The current 4G leader VZW didn't have any LTE capable phones when they launched their network last fall either. Nor did they just flip the switch for 4G in every single market they compete in either. This is how rollouts are done." True, they didn't have phones day one. But they did hit 38 markets before the end of 2010. That's 6 markets away from 3 times the AT&T 'launch' season. Factor in Verizon launched November 15th and rocketed to 38 cities, when AT&T can't even hit 20 in 2.5 months and you get the idea. AT$T doesn't take infrastructure seriously.
  • Exactly. Still waiting for a rollout map like Verizon has been pushing all year, but I'm sure they won't do it, because they won't come anywhere near the coverage Verizon has amassed in a year.
  • you do realize that theres only about 3 1/2 months left of the year right? pretty sure there going to turn it on at those cities around early next year.
  • While Sprextel came out with "4G" first, they use wimax...and there "4G" wasn't in every city when it first launched. Going nationawide with them ment select cites not all over. Verizon's first 4G device was a laptop connect card. GYFS
  • At best At&t IS A JOKE and so are all the customers walking around with at&t devices they are just as bad as verizon. Time has come for people to understand that sprint ushered in the 4g smartphone with the evo 4g clearly the best android device in 2010 and now everybody has to be on sprints jock strap...If you look around every device almost looks like the evo 4g from 2010 so yes sprint has lead the way and currently as of today has all the best dualcore android devices on the market...Get over yourself sorry at&t and useless verizon....
  • Yeahhhh, you're the joke now. Sure, Sprint "ushered in" a faster data service (the reason I'm not saying "4G" is because none of the carriers' data services are truly "4G", especially Sprint's), but right now, Sprint hasn't brought their "4G" to any new cities in well over 8 months. And you talk of Sprint "leading the way"? You do know that Sprint is ranked the 3rd largest national carrier, right? How can anyone or anything in that position "lead the way" in anything?
    " on sprints jock strap"????? I don't know of anyone (except maybe you) who would WANT to be ON a jock strap. Do you even know what a jock strap is? Go back to high school. I'm sure you'll learn what a jock strap is while you're there. And fyi, if you look around, the only reason "every device almost looks like the evo 4g" is because there's only so many ways you can design a phone you stupid moron. Rectangular, big screen, speaker, camera, etc. Get over yourself you arrogant pussy.
  • Living in dfw, I am good with it! Sprint did not launch with speeds faster than your home internet...I guess the HTC holiday will be here soon.
  • Great point.
  • How sad is that. 5 Markets. I may not like Verizon's prices but they are WAY ahead of AT&T when it comes to LTE market coverage as well as phones able to connect to it.
  • Yes...That would be because they got almost a year headstart on AT&T.....You act like VZW 4G network just sprung into existence covering the U.S. when in the start, it was a rollout exactly like this in a limited market with no LTE phones.
  • Still.....Verizon launched with 30 markets if I recall.
  • LOL youre not really defending the fact that AT&T is only launching with 5 measly cities are you?? VZW launched in 30+ metropolitan areas and had like 10 devices shortly after. A year head start? sure. So in a year ATT hasnt accomplished 1/3 of what VZW has. While ATT was busy bragging about their awesome 3G network, Verizon was building up their LTE network.
  • Exactly my thoughts
  • That's because Verizon does not have back haul in place....that means if you have a Verizon 4G LTE phone and you're on their LTE network and you leave it, you have to reset the device to use the 3G network until you get back into a VZ LTE area and then another reset. At least with AT&T you just fall back to HSPA+ without all the restarts.
  • How DARE NY not be one of the first cities! We brave terrorist attacks on a daily basis for this?
  • or Miami which is a HUGE metro area...
  • Why would you bring up terrorist attacks as an excuse for not having LTE in NY?
  • Verizon did not have any lte phones when they launched their lte.. About the same start.. Just a year behind
  • "About the same start." HA! Except that Verizon launched 39 markets on the first day compared to AT&T's planned 5. Also, the reason that Verizon has a year head start is because they are the only carrier in the States that didn't waste time taking a step between 3G & 4G. They went straight to LTE. (I'm talking to you AT&T/T-Mobile (HSPA+) & Sprint (WiMax)).
  • Good point but like the other person said...39 markets mean nothing when its all about a aircard...just give it time and in a year lets have the LTE debates! :-)
  • VZW
  • At least they will be getting use out of the LTE of the GSII
  • Let at&t work on making their 4g, 4g... Then they can talk about claiming to have an LTE market
  • seems like att have alot going on this Sunday
  • Verizon launched a few markets at a time and considering that they had a year plus head start in developing their LTE network, I am more concerned with having a functioning network vs rolling out too quickly and it sucks.
  • Verizon launched 39 markets on its launch day. Since then, it has exploded. They are up to almost 200 markets in 9 months. They always launch several markets at a time, and expand others. How dare anyone claim that att's piss poor launch is anything close to Verizon. They are always behind. Verizon has Lte in several markets that doesn't even have att 3G. Ugggh. Give me a break.
  • Yes but once fully deployed the ATT lte network will be superior to Verizon's just as GSM is superior to cdma.
    Can you tell I am an ATT customer? ;) honestly I travel in Texas for work and have a Verizon bb for work. My personal phone is ATT and in Texas ATT is a better network than Verizon.
  • I beg to differ. I live in the dfw metroplex where vzw is far, superior. Even in this big area, att continues to fall short. Dropped calls along I-30 are beyond countable. I switched to vzw from att 4 years ago and couldn't be happier. Coverage along with my $90 any mobile family plan keeps me a vzw customer.
  • See above somewhere...
  • AT& T is based headquartered in Dallas--moved from San Antonio. This may explain their presence in the rollout of LTE from AT&T. Don''t forget the purchase/merger w/T-Mobile was to bring LTE to AT&T. They recognize they are behind, but hope to get approval of the T-Mobile deal soon so they can roll it out nation wide or near nation wide.
  • where they are based out of means crap..not to sound rude. VZW is based in the NE and they still rolled out LTE NATIONWIDE!
  • Wow. That was my 1st post here and I now see how interested people are in a discussion--not.
  • AT&T doesn't need TMo for an LTE rollout. Period.
  • Then why do you think they are willing to spend $39B to get T-Mobile? For the cool logos?
  • For them it's worth it to eliminate a competitor (especially one that keeps some pressure on pricing) and to gain enough users to be a strong #1. Greed $$$
  • Thank you!
  • AT&T doesn't need TMo for an LTE rollout. Period. Dup... Well, anyway. It'd only cost AT&T a fraction of what the buyout will cost to rollout LTE all on their own - at the same speed. Don't let them fool you, they already have more spectrum than anyone and are the ones in the best technical position for a rollout.
  • might not NEED Tmo for it. but they are waiting mostly for the deal to go though to really ramp up the LTE coverage
  • Yes because they want to make it look more like they need it, do you honestly believe even if they were spectrum-weak that a company with this much cash couldn't muster more than 15 markets? They're really hating that they accidentally leaked the fact they could have done this by themselves at any pace they chose.
  • Nope. Wrong. Verizon has the most spectrum right now.
  • So does this mean that my HTC Inspire "4G" won't work on their LTE network?
  • What about AT&Ts current customers with '4g' phones that run on HSPA+ and will not connect to their LTE network due to not having the chipset for it. How lame of a move by AT&T?! I would be pissed if I had one of those phones.
  • OMG ... I'm pissed. VZW is looking pretty damn good... If it wasm't because I love MIUI on my Inspire ...
  • MIUI runs on Verizon phones too. And the 4G CM7 ports will soon enable MIUI to come (if it hasn't already)
  • Same as Sprint users who got "4G" phones that run on WiMax. It's a very lame move by both of them. Decisions like that are EXACTLY why Verizon is the industry leader.
  • Verizon is a leader....but not an industry leader.
  • Lot of pissing and moaning from folks that ain't AT&T customers. Use what works for you. If not on the network, it don't affect you...
  • Your comment is the best!!! I see you BLUE PHI
  • Your comment is the best!!! I see you BLUE PHI
  • This is an improvement to the AT&T service. I know it is later than expected and at the introductory level isn't as widespread as hoped for, but I am amazed at the anger & vitriol at the start of improvement in service.
  • LTE on AT&T makes my wallet HURT!
  • How so? You have inside info on new pricing?
  • AT&T will do what they do...Verizon will do what they do...T-Mobile will do what they do and Sprint will continue to pour millions of dollars into NASCAR instead of their network...
  • AT&TS networked sucked big time in the chicago area yesterday. I was in Joliet for the NASCAR race all weekend and my Atrix was basically a brick yesterday. Same goes for two others in my group who are at&t. Finally got back to normal around evening time last night. Got like fifty emails/texts all at the same time.