AT&T says it will not launch an LTE handset until late this year

AT&T says it will not launch an LTE handset until late this year
It probably will come as no surprise, but it now has been confirmed by Pete Ritcher, AT&T's senior vice president for mobility and consumer markets, that the carrier will not launch an LTE enabled device until the end of 2011. Richter, speaking at the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference on Wednesday, said AT&T is still on track to have its LTE pipeline up in 15 markets covering 70 million potential customers by the end of the year. At first, even before offering an LTE smartphone, the company will offer LTE data cards. As Richter said, the company won't wait to hit 50 million potential subscribers before flicking the switch on its LTE network to "on".

As we reported in May, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to be the first five markets to have AT&T's LTE service available according to John Stankey, the president of AT&T's business solutions unit. His co-worker Richter brought up the point that AT&T is the only carrier with both an LTE and HSPA+ network which means that in areas where LTE flavored 4G will not be available, AT&T customers will be able to "fall back" on 4G speeds using HSPA+. Verizon customers, on the other hand, fall back to 3G speeds on Big Red's Ev-Do network when a LTE signal is not found.

Speaking of Verizon, the carrier offers LTE service in 102 markets at this time. By year's end, that number is expected to have risen to 175 markets covering 185 million potential customers. Verizon has three LTE enabled smartphones available and sold 1.2 million of these phones in Q2 of this year, up from 500,000 sold in the first quarter. As we told you, Verizon's network is expected to be incompatible with AT&T's LTE pipelines.

Richter made a couple of interesting points. One is that by increasing the speed of its HSPA+ service, the carrier feels no need to rush out LTE products. Doing this will allow AT&T to wait for the hardware to mature before launching LTE service. The other comment had to do with 3G service which Richter feels will improve as more subscribers gravitate to LTE, allowing 3G pipelines to be less congested.

source: FierceWireless



1. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1249; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

If Verizon had problems with LTE you just know AT&T will have huge problems with LTE.

2. Carlos unregistered

So there Hspa+ network is going to have faster speeds before the end of the year! So phones like the Inspire and Atrix 4g will be able to go into LTE mode where available, and fall back to HSPA+ if not in an LTE area.

3. Not Quite unregistered

The Inspire and Atrix don't have LTE chips in them.

5. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

they should have the LTE chips in the Atrix and Inspire...if not then thats ok because with the amount of people that are going to upgrade to LTE phones in the future, the HSPA+ and 3G networks will be better

4. Carlos unregistered

But can't you put an LTD chipset on it? Like it says on the article.

6. aar0983 unregistered

So people on AT&T that have "4g" phones are not actually getting fast internet speeds right now?

20. Geeksarebest

Posts: 34; Member since: Jun 28, 2011

The 4G phones that are out now run on HSPA+, which is basically a toned down version of the LTE expected speeds. The HSPA+ has a theoretical threshold of around 22mbit/s. HSDPA which is what's used now is around 14mbit/s. LTE has a theoretical cap of around 1Gbit/s. Technically, calling the HSPA+ isn't wrong with "4G" considering the G just means "generation", but people don't quite grasp the concept of what it really means.

7. joanna23 unregistered

Well I have at&t and this is my first time with at&t. I ALWAYS had Verizon .. and at&t is not that bad.. well I guess it depends on your area I live in los Angeles right in the city.. At first I got an iPhone 4 man did I have lots of dropped calls and crappy reception inside buildings I tought it was att service, I was gonna give up on at&t but I decided to give it one last chanve.. I dumped it my s**tty iPhone got a Samsung infuse 4g never looked back. Now I forgot what's a dropped call. So far I have had zero dropped calls also call quality is MUCH better and clearer than on the iphone4 i can finally understand wat the person im talking to is saying on the iphone sometimes it was so bad it sounded like the person i was talking to was underwater..Also in all those buildings inside were the iphone had no service my infuse has at least 3 bars of service. And another thing I noticed since day 1 I guess there's hspa+ in my area with backhaul cuz so far I have gotten better speeds on my infuse than on my iphone4. I tought 5 mbps was fast cuz I wud get that on the iphone 4 over 3G. On my infuse I'm getting 8-11 mbps something I never ever saw on the iPhone. I know its not as fast as what people on Verizon LTE arw getting .. but I don't mind cuz 11 mbps is good enough for me to watch HD videos on YouTube and go on Facebook. So yea I know that's not the case with everyone on at&t. I know att has a bad reputation in other places but over here in los Angeles it has been great to me reception wise and speed wise with there data network so.I can't complain...

12. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

Is this really true? I was debating on the Infuse or the iPhone 4 for ATT. If the Infuse does get a little bit better reception I'm on board!! Can anyone else confirm this?

18. Simba501

Posts: 28; Member since: Jul 06, 2011

The iPhone has ALWAYS been worse in performance vs. AT&T's other devices. I, too, used an iPhone for a short while and I dropped calls left and right. It got to the point where it was frustrating and embarrassing to have to call the person back ("the call dropped again"). I picked up something else and very rarely dropped calls. I never dropped calls on AT&T before I got the iPhone, and I rarely drop calls now. The iPhone is the problem, and no one will be able to convince me otherwise.

21. Geeksarebest

Posts: 34; Member since: Jun 28, 2011

The iPhone has inherant flaws. One of the things that was released with the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco is that what Apple terms "running at full capacity" can still drop 5%-7% of calls. Combine that with a phone that doesn't handle 3G to 2G transfers well and the already known antenna issue and you're asking for trouble.

19. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

Yes the Infuse has great reception. Some of my coworkers think the Atrix has better reception. It's too close to tell. Very impressive for a GSM phone.

8. ltr unregistered

probably a good move, since only 5 cities will get LTE to start, and wouldnt make sense to debut a LTE phone, that only 5 cities. they should start out with maybe, 15-30 cities.

9. MetalPhoenix79

Posts: 8; Member since: May 22, 2011

So is AT&T going to market their LTE as 5G? Sorry, I had to say it.

10. Audelio13

Posts: 15; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Seems great! I have my upgrade coming up in March, so the best LTE phone I see, (hoping it's a Samsung with S-AMOLED) is going to be mine, I don't care what the price shall be! And what's best, is that San Antonio will get LTE launch, oh yeah :D

11. Eric unregistered

There's another aspect to this that people are missing...this is pretty much confirmation that the iPhone 5 will not support LTE.

15. nz unregistered

way to go Eric!


Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 10, 2011

good remark, indeed!

13. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

@jtucker1987 yes I also noticed that I have an I infuse 4G . I also live in La like that other person over here at&t works awesome, much better than t-mobile. I also had an iphone 4 which I threw it against the wall till it broke. Yes the iphone 4 has much crappier call quality and reception than the infuse. The infuse has a much stronger antenna I always have better reception in many places my old iphone 4 crapped out and call quality is much better and louder and clear no static on the infuse. But like that other person said it depends on your area. We both live in La I don't know were u live.. also the highest I ever gotten on speed tests are 12 mbps up 5 mbps down. Also the infuse has flash player the iPhone doesnt.

14. Heatfan316 unregistered

Man AT&T your are falling behind, better step it up.smh!

17. joey18

Posts: 673; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

why lte when you can use after 2g pandora use alot data and anothers apps to so my opinion att has togo unlimited

22. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Thats really sad AT&T u put H+ on your phones include my Atrix. U make millions of dollars in sales revenue but couldnt do it cause you re too busy counting your iPhone sales and yet to this date too.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.