AT&T Expands 4G LTE Network, Adding 77 New Markets This Summer
AT&T this week continued to build out its 4G LTE network, bringing faster speeds to six markets across the country.
AT&T 4G LTE is now available in Jackson, Tenn.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Napa, Calif.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Rocky Mount-Wilson, N.C.; and Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif. The move brings the total number of 4G LTE markets to 182. The carrier said today it will add another 77 by the end of the summer (see below), as it moves toward its goal of covering 300 million people by the end of 2014.
Earlier this year AT&T fired up its 4G network in Northwest Georgia, covering the cities of Dalton and Calhoun, as well as Albany, Ga., in the southwestern part of the state. Up north, a February expansion included Norfolk, Va., as well as parts of Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.
The carrier also expanded existing LTE coverage in parts of Philadelphia and Baltimore, where service initially launched last year. The Pennsylvania extension covered parts of Montgomery and Bucks Counties, including Doylestown and Hatfield. In Maryland, sections of Cecil County, including Elkton, gained access.
AT&T is still lagging behind Verizon's 440-plus nationwide markets, but has Sprint beat by almost 125. T-Mobile, meanwhile, launched its 4G LTE network in seven cities — Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. — late last month.
T-Mobile’s 4G LTE Network Goes Live in 7 Cities
As expected, T-Mobile today launched its 4G LTE network in seven cities: Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, and Washington, D.C.
T-Mobile wants its 4G LTE network to reach 100 million people by mid-2013 and 200 million nationwide by year's end. In areas where 4G LTE is not available, T-Mobile devices will drop down to T-Mobile's existing "4G" network, or HSPA+.
OpenSignal Finds T-Mobile LTE in 8 Cities
T-Mobile isn't saying where it's launching LTE, so it's a good thing we have OpenSignal to do our legwork for us. With its crowdsourced Android app, OS reports today that it has detected T-Mobile's new LTE network in eight cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle.
"The fact that our app has detected a T-Mobile LTE network in these cities suggests that they will be included in the initial LTE rollout," OS spokesman Samuel Johnston said.
And while T-Mobile has only announced the BlackBerry Z10 and Samsung Galaxy Note II as LTE devices, OS says it's also seen T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4 phones hitting the LTE network.
How fast is it? Johnston said OSM's tests saw 25Mbps downloads, 8Mbps uploads, and latency around 40ms. That's extremely fast for a 5x5 LTE network like T-Mobile is running.
"Obviously the network is under a very light load right now and these speeds will come down," Johnston said.
T-Mobile is the last national carrier to launch LTE. It has pledged to cover 100 million people with LTE by midyear. Earlier this week the company treated us to a test of how the network will function after the upcoming MetroPCS merger, when it can double its spectrum in many markets to 10x10.
T-Mobile Expected to Fire Up 4G LTE Network on March 26
T-Mobile has sent out invitations for an "exclusive" media event on March 26 in New York City, where the wireless carrier may switch on its 4G LTE network.
"We're still a wireless company," the invitation reads. "We're just not going to act like one anymore."
While the invitation is light on details, T-Mobile undoubtedly has some major changes on tap. For starters, the carrier is widely expected to officially launch its 4G LTE network, and the BlackBerry Z10 and Galaxy Note II will likely be the first handsets to support T-Mobile's upgraded network.
At CES, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said the carrier would be launching LTE in "another week or two." Though the company still hasn't announced a single official LTE city, it's aiming to cover 100 million people with LTE by midyear and 200 million by the end of the year.
Verizon Eyes Broadcast Over LTE for Super Bowl 2014
LAS VEGAS–Are you ready to watch a live broadcast of the Super Bowl on your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE phone? That could be a reality as early as next year if Verizon chief Lowell McAdam gets his way.
McAdam, the chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications, took the stage tonight for a CES keynote that touched on the societal challenges that Verizon hopes to help address in the years to come - from e-health to better assistance for first responders.
But for the entertainment-focused, that vision also includes football. McAdam brought out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (above), and the duo gabbed about boosting tech at stadiums and bringing more interactive features to those at home. But the most interesting aspect of their chat was when McAdam said he wanted Verizon to offer live broadcast TV over 4G LTE - a goal that might allow for the airing of the Super Bowl over its network in the "2014 timeframe," he said.
Verizon has already facilitated the streaming of Super Bowl 2011 via its NFL football app, but tapping into a live broadcast rather than a stream could provide a more stable viewing experience (goodbye, buffering!).
T-Mobile LTE Coming In “Another Week or Two”
LAS VEGAS—LTE may be fast, but it's come slowly to T-Mobile, the last major US carrier not to run a 4G LTE network. That's due to change in "a week or two," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said.
"Markets such as Las Vegas are pretty ready, and we were trying to get Vegas launched for CES. Another week or two and we'll be there," he said.
The Vegas launch will be followed by "a series of LTE markets coming on line through Q1 and Q2," Ray said. The company is aiming to cover 100 million people with LTE by midyear and 200 million by the end of the year, if its merger with MetroPCS goes through.
There's one thing missing from the mix, though: T-Mobile doesn't sell any phones it advertises as LTE compatible. "There will be a period when markets are up but we don't have devices yet," Ray admitted.
Some existing T-Mobile and AT&T LTE devices may work on T-Mobile's new LTE network, though. "The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 can be an over-the-air software update" to work with LTE, Ray said, and "some AT&T LTE phones will work on the network, so there will be customers that can experience the LTE network," he said.
AT&T Aims to ‘Densify,’ Boosting Big-City 4G Networks
LAS VEGAS—AT&T plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover more than 300 million Americans by the end of 2014, and will "densify" its network in large cities by adding small cells and distributed antenna networks, AT&T CTO John Donovan said at AT&T's developer conference today.
Densification replaces large cell sites in crowded urban areas with several smaller cell sites each. By shrinking the size of each cell, AT&T can support more users per square mile. That means fewer blocked calls and more consistent data speeds in dense cities like New York, Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco.
As part of its new "Project VIP" network upgrade, AT&T is adding 10,000 new large cells and 40,000 small cells in urban areas, Donovan said. Consumers won't see these advantages immediately, as Project VIP runs from now through 2015. But the project seems more about keeping up with continually growing mobile data traffic than with managing today's levels.
In our tests, AT&T's LTE performance has been pretty good so far; it had faster download speeds than Verizon's network in most of the cities where it was available when we tested it for Fastest Mobile Networks 2012. (At the time, the network had a lot less coverage than it does now.)
Project VIP will support voice over LTE, which will let AT&T roll more spectrum from its old GSM network over to the new LTE network, further improving LTE coverage and speeds. Donovan also teased that Project VIP might make wireless rates lower. "Efficiencies will include a lower cost on a per-unit basis," he said. We'll believe that when we see it.
AT&T Didn't Need T-Mobile After All
AT&T's goal of covering 300 million Americans with LTE also shows that the company wasn't telling the whole truth back when it tried to buy T-Mobile in 2011. At the time, it said that it couldn't economically cover more than 80% of America with LTE without absorbing T-Mobile.
But AT&T's current goal of 300 million covered includes more than 95% of the U.S. population, meaning it didn't need T-Mobile at all. Donovan didn't comment on that, of course. He said that AT&T's recent deal for NextWave's 2.3GHz WCS spectrum, which AT&T will use for LTE, is critical to that level of coverage.
AT&T's current LTE rollout covers 135 cities, which puts it behind Verizon's 400-plus cities but well ahead of Sprint's 49. T-Mobile has no LTE yet, but I expect the carrier to announce its first LTE plans tomorrow.
Verizon Expands 4G LTE Network to 29 More Markets
Not to be outdone by AT&T and Sprint, Verizon on Thursday fired up its super-fast 4G LTE network in 29 more markets around the U.S. and expanded coverage in 36 markets, the carrier announced.
Verizon launched service today in Selma, Ala., Clarksburg, W. Va., and Port Angeles, Wash., among many other markets. For a full list of new Verizon 4G LTE markets, see below. With the latest expansion, Verizon's 4G LTE network is now available in a total of 470 markets in the U.S., covering more than 250 million people.
Rival carriers AT&T and Sprint also expanded their respective 4G LTE networks this week, just in time for consumers around the nation to unwrap new smartphones this holiday season. AT&T fired up its ultra-fast 4G LTE network in five cities, and expanded coverage in four other areas. Sprint turned on its own 4G LTE network in several new areas, including Puerto Rico.
Verizon is leading the 4G LTE charge in the U.S., recently topping 400 markets two months ahead of schedule. At this point, AT&T's 4G LTE network is now live in 125 cities while Sprint offers service in 29 cities. T-Mobile expects to upgrade to 4G LTE next year.
Verizon is aiming to complete its 4G LTE rollout by mid-2013, a company executive said last month.
AT&T, Sprint Expand 4G LTE Networks
Wireless carriers AT&T and Sprint both expanded their respective 4G LTE networks today, just in time for consumers around the nation to unwrap new smartphones this holiday season.
AT&T fired up its ultra-fast 4G LTE network in five cities, and expanded coverage in four other areas. Not to be outdone, Sprint turned on its own 4G LTE network in several new areas, including Puerto Rico.
AT&T's latest rollout includes: Green Bay, Wis; Melbourne, Fla; Oxford, Miss; Springfield, Mass.; and Tucson, Ariz. The carrier also expanded coverage in parts of Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; Pheonix; and Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Sprint, meanwhile, launched service in Indianapolis/Carmel, Ind.; Santa Rosa/Petaluma, Calif.; Vallejo/Fairfield, Calif.; Southern Puerto Rico (including Ponce, Coamo, and Guayama); York/Hanover, Pa.; Franklin County, Pa.; and Page County, Va. Sprint also enhanced 4G LTE coverage in the Chicago metro area and around Shenandoah County, Va.
AT&T Rolls Out 4G LTE Network to 11 New Markets This Week
AT&T continued its 4G LTE rollout this week, launching its ultra-fast network in 11 new markets.
The nation's second-largest wireless carrier today added seven new 4G LTE markets including:Allentown-Bethlehem, Pa.; Hattiesburg andStarkville, Miss.; Moscow, Idaho; Pullman, Wash.;Reno, Nev.; and Richmond, Va. The latest push follows a round of launches on Monday in Auburn-Opelika, Ala.; Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Nashua, NH.
AT&T said it's 4G LTE network is now live in 120 markets [PDF]. The carrier expects to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014 with speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G, AT&T said.
Earlier this month, AT&T introduced its 4G LTE service in Salt Lake City, Utah; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Reading, Penn. along with three markets in Puerto Rico.
AT&T last month announced a three-year upgrade to its wireless and wired networks dubbed Project Velocity IP (VIP). As part of the plan, the service provider will spend $8 billion over the next three years beefing up its wireless network.