AT&T is accelerating its LTE deployments and will launch its LTE services in six cities next week.
Starting Nov. 20, AT&T's LTE network will go live in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. With the six additions, AT&T will have its LTE network up and running in 15 markets. The carrier says its LTE network will reach more than 70 million Americans by the end of the year.
AT&T officially launched its LTE network in five markets this summer and the carrier has been steadily expanding into more markets by launching services in Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Athens, Ga. The carrier also got its first LTE-capable smartphones this month when it announced the availability of the HTC Vivid and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Both devices run on Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") and feature dual-core processors, 4.5-inch display screens and 8-megapixel cameras capable of filming 1080 HF video. The Skyrocket is slightly more expensive at $250 while the Vivid is priced at $200.
Rival carrier Verizon first launched its LTE network in December 2010 and has since expanded it to cover all major markets in the United States. The carrier estimates that its LTE network will cover around 185 million Americans by the end of this year and that it will have upgraded its entire 3G footprint to LTE by the end of 2013.
LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is essentially a bridge from 3G technologies such as HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev. A to the 4G IMT-Advanced technologies that the International Telecommunications Union says will deliver consistent speeds around 100Mbps.