AT&T covertly lights up its Chicago LTE pilot, J.D. Power ranks its current network unimpressive

AT&T covertly lights up its Chicago LTE pilot, J.D. Power ranks its current network unimpressive
AT&T has been caught on tape to test its imminent 4G LTE network deployment in Chicago with the recently announced Elevate mobile hotspot last week.

Chicago is one of the pilot markets where the carrier plans to flip the LTE switch soon, together with Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Atlanta. Its first LTE devices are expected to be the Samsung Impulse 4G, HTC Holiday and the HTC Jetstream tablet.

The speeds displayed are pretty good - 13Mbps downloads and 1.1-2Mbps uploads, with the caveat that this is a testing phase. The source of these pics has indicated that there were never more than three bars of signal during testing, so it is obvious that AT&T's LTE network is still being deployed and extended in the Windy City.

That's the future of AT&T - as for the present, J.D. Power just outed its semi-annual carrier survey, which collected data from 22 100 wireless customers over the course of the first half of 2011. AT&T mostly ranked in "the rest" category, perching slightly above the minimum only in the Southwest. Verizon was top performer in five out of the six regions, with U.S. Cellular taking the North Central region, but Verizon close second there.

The survey takes note of 10 key areas - dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; email connection errors and slow downloads. AT&T was quick to issue a rebuff statement, which says:

"Over the past year, third party drive tests have shown consistently strong call retainability for AT&T. Nationally, we are within two calls out of a thousand behind the only higher score, and we are focused on continued improvement to deliver the industry’s best call retainability for our customers. AT&T is constantly working to deliver the nation’s most advanced wireless experience, and as a result our customers have access to the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, with the ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time and access to the broadest international coverage of any U.S. provider.

We’re going to incredible lengths — and investing billions of dollars — to make our customers’ experience even better. And further improving the customer experience is the motivation behind our proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA."

Carrier brawl aside, we found other things in the survey that deserve attention as well. For instance, J.D. Power found out that people are talking less on their phones than 2009, at 450 minutes on average. They text more, and are having more problems with their phones due to the proliferation of smartphones, where call and data quality issues are more than with featurephones - shocker, we know. Finally, the survey ranked the Salt Lake City market with the least amount of problems in the above 10 key areas, whereas Sacramento ranked the worst.

source: J.D. Power via BGR



1. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Hmm, 13 mbps is nothing... In sweden wee have 4G that was measured at 40 mbps (real testing done by a phone magazine, not theoretical speed, the theoretical speed is 80 mbps here in sweden)

6. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2362; Member since: Apr 18, 2011


9. iKingTrust

Posts: 716; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

I wish i had that kind of speed

10. PeterIfromsweden

Posts: 1230; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Yeah, unfortunately there is no 4G phones in sweden yet. In Sweden the 4g network is used for mobile broadband for use with your laptop. But i guess it is only a matter of time before the first 4G phones hit the market here.

13. stealthd unregistered

They have 100+ Mbps WiMax 2 networks in Japan as well. It may not be all that great globally, but you gotta start somewhere.

2. BuckeyeCadet86 unregistered

Sweden is a little different than the US. The United States is larger by size than all of the EU. So the logistics of actually creating a network in the US are very different. If the US carriers only wanted to create a network in the most populated areas it could easily do 100 mbps reality, but that isn't cost effective in a nation where 80% of it don't live in the major metro areas

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

actually like 70-80% do live in the metro areas and their surrounding suburbs. 13mbps is unimpressive these days.... especially for the price. From all the evidence gathered around here, VZW has silently upped their LTE (at least in certain places) to much more impressive speeds of 20-30mbps in real world. I havent had an opportunity to test my city out yet but the benchmarks are definitely out there for other cities.

5. historymajor unregistered

(it don't live)

7. MR.MR.Upgrade unregistered

At&t what a joke lol

8. Mr.Mr.Upgrade

Posts: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

The way at&t is going metro pcs is going to be better then them

11. biscutbob

Posts: 82; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Unimpressive is putting it lightly hahahah they ranked worst out of the big 4. I agree in full and being in New Mexico At&t is horrible and thier customer service just as bad. Poor T Mobile is going to be brought down by at&t if anything and the merger will not imprrove either of the carriers.

12. Carlos unregistered

13mbps download is pretty weel, considering that most of the test never really got to 3 bars. You guys should read the article carefully before criticizing.

15. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

XD AT&T is bogus.

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