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AT&T's LTE network to catch up with Verizon's within the next 3 years

Posted: , by Nick T.

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AT&T's LTE network to catch up with Verizon's within the next 3 years
It is no secret that AT&T is only steps away from deploying its own LTE network, but haven't you wondered if it will ever be any better than Verizon's? Well, despite the impressive speed test results that AT&T is teasing us with, it is too early to know for sure. However, Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's president and CEO, is estimating that the LTE pipelines of both carriers may be practically “indistinguishable” by 2014.

Only 5 cities will have LTE coverage from AT&T at first with ten more being added to the list by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Verizon's 4G network is growing steadily and will likely be available in over 140 markets nationwide by the end of this year. Will AT&T manage to catch up within the given time frame and will it be able to match Verizon's speeds and coverage is anybody's guess, but at this moment chances are not in AT&T's favor.

AT&T's LTE network is to debut at some time within the second half of this year with subscribers in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Antonio to be the first ones to give it a try.

source: CNN via PCMag

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posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:18 5

1. Allday28 (Posts: 283; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)

No way in hell att is gonna catch verizon in three years. Att is always lying about everthing. There network is pathetic!!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:32 6

2. Dave FL (unregistered)

ATT is pissing me off as much as my iphone. Three F'ing markets in texas? Those freaking backward hicks can still use dial up. Put 4G in decent parts of the country, for christs sake!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:53 3

6. bigjon88 (unregistered)

Well maybe you should have gotten a decent cell provider in the first place. Oh and btw, christs should actually be Christ's. Who's the hick now? Bitch

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:07 2

10. Dave FL (unregistered)

Actually, d*ckwad bigjohn88, putting the apostrophe (look it up in a dictionary) between the "t" and "s" is a contraction (look that up too!) for "christ is". If you want possessive (can you follow this thought?) you put the apostrophe AFTER the last letter. Dumbass!

And you only capitalize if it's a real name, not a made up goober fairy tale from the christ ripoff and nonsense center(s) in DallASS TexASS!

Feel pretty stupid now revealing your lack of understanding the language don't you? ESL??

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:20 7

13. applesauce (unregistered)

While you aren't wrong about about the ' between t and s indicating the abbreviation for "is", the bigjon88 is correct, as "Christ's" would indicate possessive, and you are invoking His sake, he is correct stating that it should be "Christ's sake". As for the apostrophe after the last letter, that's only necessary when the final letter in the word is an s, i.e. Chris', or Jesus', or Carlos'. Your statement about "Christ is sake" is erroneous and nonsensical.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:26

14. ATTCallCenter (unregistered)

Who cares about the correct grammar of the english language. As long is it's spelled right is all that matter's

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 00:32

31. duh (unregistered)

Typical of at&t...they don't care if they don't get the small things right. They only care about the big thing and that's their clients paying for unsatisfactory service. Btw callenterperson it does matter, Dave was wrong on two tiers and was corrected. It really shows how small people are.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 17:34

38. Anonymous since At&t brought t (unregistered)

Isn't that the whole point of getting it spelled correctly? BTW Dave FL, you are correct only when dealing with the word its / it's if you want to show possession, the word is "its". If you want to contract "it" and "is," then the word is "it's". Oh and applesauce is also correct in reference to words ending in "s"

Get it? Got it? Good.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 16:01 2

28. bossmt_2 (Posts: 449; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

How is Christ not a real name?

Well actually it originally wasn't, it was originally a title, but then against when I take about King James I don't write king James, but then again this is the internet where grammar and decency go the wayside.

posted on 11 Jun 2011, 09:32 1

45. agent7 (Posts: 19; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)

It's not a "real" name unless it is a person's given name at birth. It can also be a "real" name if you were to legally change your name to Christ. The Christ that someone would refer to when using "for Christ's sake", however should be capitalized since it is referring to a person's title. The title in this case would be Jesus Christ. The situation is the same when referring to a monarch such as Queen Elizabeth.

But, more importantly, this is a website about the wireless industry. Pointless conversations like this don't really have a place here. Shall we move on and discuss the topic at hand?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:03

7. simplyj (Posts: 404; Member since: 23 Dec 2009)

Says the person who has never left Florida..

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:09 1

11. Dave FL (unregistered)

Sigh. Another person who knows not of what he speaks.
Is ignorance truly bliss, simplyj? And why would you want to make it public knowledge?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 13:02 4

25. lp_522 (Posts: 46; Member since: 31 May 2011)

I know what this is. This isn't about AT&T LTE.. This is about Dave FL still being upset over the whooping Dallas Mavs gave Miami last night!!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:36 6

3. bossmt_2 (Posts: 449; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)

AT&T has never invested the money into their network than Verizon. Can't see them catching up, or having a full roll out.

I mean if even after all these years, is their 3G coverage even close to Verizon?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:27 2

18. Gawain (Posts: 420; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

That was my first thought too. They still haven't been able to roll out basic HSPA to cover existing EDGE markets, and they're going to "catch-up" with VZW on LTE in three years? Um...no. No only that, they don't have the spectrum to do it without cannibalizing their existing network.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 17:44

39. Anonymous since At&t brought t (unregistered)

what you both fail to realize is that during the roll out of 3G, the advent of LTE came along and the blue deathstar decided to halt 3G roll out and focus on LTE. It is in more markets than you all might think, it is not implemented yet because of the carrier switching issues btwn 3G and LTE seamlessly as well as the voice bands not being right yet either (remember when Verizon's LTE network crashed)

They are working out the kinks and have decided to run a test of 5 markets which tells me most of the kinks appear to be resolved. I know for a fact it has been pushed to several SE Michigan markets, can't tell you how I know. I wish they didn't choose 3 TX markets, that's what happens when corporate big wigs live there. 2 of those could have been Det, and LA or NY.

I would say anything yet if I were them, it makes them look slow and behind the 8 ball. Just get it tested and open it all up and go BAM! LTE for all! Just don't wait too long.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:47

4. kain (unregistered)

Really Dave? Houston and Dallas are backward hick towns? Wouldnt it just be better for you to switch to Verizon instead of making yourself sound foolish?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:04 1

8. simplyj (Posts: 404; Member since: 23 Dec 2009)

Don't forget San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the U.S.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:11 1

12. Dave FL (unregistered)

Been there. Like all of Texas, I try to forget it.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:03 1

21. Wow... (unregistered)

Bro what's with the state bashing? You can try to relax, whatever Texas did to you, it's over now.

We can all agree that AT&T's network sucks nationwide, LTE or not.

(Proud resident of Austin, TX)

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 09:47 4

5. FuShinickich (unregistered)

Even if (IF) they could pull this off, by this time, Verizon will probably be upgrading to LTE+ anyway, so what will it matter.

De la Vega has always spoke from his ass.

AT&T are such pathetic liars, have a swiss-cheese network, and the absolute worst customer service bar none.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:30 3

15. Jeff (unregistered)

That's the stupidest thing I ever heard! Catch up.
AT&T needs T-mobile just to catch up, what a lame service provider!
It amazes me why stupid AT&T has so many subscribers when they suck so bad!!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:35 3

23. sscorp99 (Posts: 40; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

they only have that many subscribers because 20% are employeees and are required to have att service for their discount.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 17:47

40. Anonymous since At&t brought t (unregistered)

Wouldn't any employee of any company be required to have their own company's service in order to get the "EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT"?

...just sayin'

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 10:27

35. forsaken77 (unregistered)

If you live in an area where AT&T's service is not filled with holes, like me, then it's not bad. And for my needs, it's cheaper than Verizon with much better coverage than both T-Mobile and Sprint combined. I live on Long Island, outside NYC, and routinely travel from the city, all the way out to the hamptons and have good service.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 10:44 4

16. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Lol. I saw this first on CNN and laughed. AT&T just made themselves look like a bad joke. Three years to catch up with Verizon on 4G? And then what? Look on in shock as Verizon rolls out an entirely built 5G network?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:30 2

19. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

so they will take 5 years to do what VZW did in one or 2? Then when they roll that out, VZW will transition to LTE+ and get into true 4g.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 00:43

32. duh (unregistered)

True 4g is a 100 megabits per second while true HSPA+ IS 84 megabits per second. Do u think cell phones companies well come close to producing this product at an acceptable price for the company and for clients.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 07:14 1

33. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

why YES actually. Tmobile has/had plans to launch the 84mb/s HSPA+ next year. They are increasing their network to 42mb/s right now and its availible in many areas already. And concidering they do unlimited data cheaply... yea, its totally possible.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 10:31

36. forsaken77 (unregistered)

I had read that T-Mobile actually uses alot of AT&T's towers instead of putting up their own. Though this might just be in my area because T-Mo has the absolute worst coverage of any carrier.

posted on 11 Jun 2011, 09:45 1

46. agent7 (Posts: 19; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)

Maybe they should actually focus on getting decent voice coverage first before they look to up their data. I wouldn't care to have a cell phone and not be able to make a simple phone call.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:07 1

17. GetAClue (unregistered)

What you all fail to realize is that Verizon is building out LTE with nothing to fall back to when you are not in an LTE area. AT&T is building out HSPA+ and LTE simlutaneously to support a wider range of customers. How many of you have LTE devices right now? And how many do you think will be in the marketplace by the time Verizon goes to 140 markets? Next time you're out in the real world, look at how many 2G devices are still in use; e.g Razors and simple messaging phones. Maybe then you will start to understand the tremendous undertaking building a network takes.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 11:32 5

20. Gawain (Posts: 420; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

That is incorrect. The VZW's LTE rollout is all on the C-Block 700MHz spectrum. Existing 800/1900 CDMA/1X/EV-DO markets are in 100% overlap and VZW has stated that the incumbent network will be maintained for at least another 7-10 years.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:05 1

22. GetAClue (unregistered)

So I take it you are perfectly ok with going from LTE speed to speeds equivalent to technology from 2-3 years ago?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 13:57 2

26. Superguy (unregistered)

If the choice is between that and having crappy or no coverage like on AT&T, then yeah.

Right now, on AT&T, when I have reliable HSPA service, it does fine. However, I when I go out of those 3G areas, I drop to Edge, which is more like 7-8 years ago. I'd rather drop to 3G in LTE areas and still have an acceptable speed on the go than drop to Edge. 2-3 years back is much better than 7-8. :p

I've already accepted that wireless (LTE or not) isn't going to be as good as my FiOS connection at home. As long as the web page loads are half decent, I'm not going to quibble. However, I do expect it to work. I've gotten to the point with AT&T that I'm tired of their unreliability in airports and other concentrated areas where my friends on Verizon don't have the problem. Speed doesn't do me any good if I can't use the connection in the first place. I can work with slow more than I can "not there."

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 19:47 3

30. Gawain (Posts: 420; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)

That's beside the point. You stated that VZW was building out LTE with nothing to fall back on. VZW essentially has 100% EV-DO coverage. It's not the fastest, but it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than EDGE. AT&T's coverage for HSPA/3G is still spotty as hell. If they feel better rolling into LTE in a few markets this year, with truly nothing to fall back on, that's on them.

Point being is that by the end of 2013, VZW will have LTE deployed in every major market in the US. Interstate routes between MSAs and RSAs will still be 3G/EVDO. By the time they're ready to retire the 3G network, those RSAs and "in-between" points will have LTE coverage. At that point, I hope VZW begins converting their existing spectrum to LTE as that standard begins to be adopted globally. Then you'll have on standard on a handful of frequencies and issues of power management will be more focused and hopefully easier to handle.

Meanwhile, I'll take reliable 3G coverage over spotty HSPA and sh!tty EDGE coverage any day. The speed may be nice, but it's latency that typically rubs us the wrong way.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 07:18 1

34. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

actually, CDMA tech is a WW2 tech. So, its a bit older than 2-3 years. But it also has better building penitration than GSM which is why The top 2 networks for coverage are VZW and Sprint.

VZW plans on overlapping its entire network with LTE and shutting down CDMA in the next decade. They wont do it until the bulk of its customers are off CDMA the same way they waited for the bulk of customers to get off Analogue. They will give them a nice discount on a new phone to force an upgrade.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 12:51 4

24. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

AT&T is too large to handle. Wait, Verizon too? So why is AT&T struggling? Oh yeah, its run by greedy obese isheep.

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 15:28 1

27. corymcnutt (Posts: 15; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)

You wonder why did they wait so long to start their LTE network and then want to play "catchup" to Verizon? Not very sound business decision, unless they didn't have the capital to start the project?

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 16:28 1

29. Wish I was with Sprint or Veri (unregistered)

Lol, it's obvious why AT&T is even still in the game. It's cause they started off with the iPhone. Without that they would probrably be as worse as Metro.

I wish I could leave AT&T. But I'm only 14. Lol.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 15:17 1

37. donpeppino9 (Posts: 67; Member since: 24 Jan 2010)

coming from 8 years with sprint and just recently switched to att i can honestly say that att provides pretty good service. I dont know why people hate them so much. competition is a nice to have and if you're not satisfied with one carrier, switch!

I switched to att cuz sprint's supposedly superb network isn't so supurb. I've always had issues with in building reception, and recently sprint has drastically reduced 3g roaming coverage.. a reduciton of almost 70% over the last year due to reductions in roaming agreements.

I like att's setup. it has more 3g coverage than sprint, the 3g coverage itself from att operates at the speed of sprint's wimax, and when on EDGE service, the speeds are comparable to cdma rev a. I know many will disagree, cause on paper its not true, but real world settings prove otherwise. I know, i've tested it out myself recently.

Combined with the fact that market forces favor gsm equipment, which results in more devices with the latest technology, longer battery life, and the ability to unlock a device gives att a great advantage. also, they have far better international roaming agreements, a huge plus for the global traveler.

Just wait and see.. when the merger gets approved att will be able to roll out lte in many more markets and will slowly close the gap on verizon. at the same time their 3g network will continue to expand and increase in speed. this combination will give 4g data speeds to far more people nationally then verizon can with lte alone. It'll be a long long time before the two carriers will be able to depend on lte alone, maybe like 10 years. until then its better to have multiple platforms to expand on to give the best overall coverage. lte technology hasn't even matured yet. ever noticed how much battery life sucks on wimax and lte devices? not the case with hspa+.

in conclusion, i think att provides a techonology advantage over verizon, which gives its customers more flexibility and choices. combine that with their decent customer service (on par with today's sprint's customer service from what i've seen so far) i think it's fair to say that att is the clear winner.

Dont get me wrong here, i like verizon too. i think having wall to wall coverage of 3g technology, with lte on top of that is a great assett. I just dont think that overall, to wireless consumers as a whole, that verizon is a clear winner. in fact there are no clear winners, but in my opinion, att is what i would prefer.

notice that i've expressed my viewpoint without wasting my time by bashing people who i dont even know. I am not a troll, or a fanboy who sits on his computer all day. I just like wireless technology and like getting the latest news on whats to come tomorrow. sometimes it amazes me how much time people waste bashing random strangers on their choice of phone technology. Get a life people.

posted on 04 Jun 2011, 18:58

41. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)

I'm not surprised.

posted on 05 Jun 2011, 00:53

42. cheeseycheeser (Posts: 413; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)

I recently switched to Verizon. And honestly, AT&T was more reliable. Now AT&T didn't work in my house. (I live in a rural area, just pointing that out) And Verizon does. And also I had a free crappy LG Slider on AT&T and a big expensive smartphone with 4G on Verizon. It works in my house. However, I've had lots of problems with being randomly stuck on 1X (we have 3G but no LTE) where I have to reconnect my phone to the netowrk. And also there was the day 4G was down. That took 3G for us too. Over all I don't feel the network is reliable. But it works in my house, so...

posted on 05 Jun 2011, 11:45

43. SJ CA (unregistered)

Ok their HSPA+ switching to edge is crap!!!! I get disconnect everytime the network switch over. Also on freaking edge i can't get internet anymore why? Did they totally kill internet over E? Signal so horrible I have to use MicroCell in my house and that thing work pretty good except the call switching from Cell Tower to Micro Cell get drop!!! Why don't you learn from Tmobile and actually offer WIFI calling via smart phone without the use of additional device???

posted on 08 Jun 2011, 11:27 1

44. gzman (unregistered)

I hate AT&T's service, network etc. They just suck. Suck! Suck! I bought the iphone 3gs for my birthday in September of 2010 because I was tired of waiting for Verizon to get it. Then....wham...Verizon gets it. What a bend over and take job I got.

AT&T sucks. I will eventually switch back to Verizon and I will never ever leave them. AT&T sucks.

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