This summer, AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) will finally get around to deploying LTE in its first five markets. I say finally because both Verizon Wireless and MetroPCS managed to pull that step off in 2010, and because the company has been selling the iPhone on its 3G network for years now - a device that really ought to be on a big bandwidth connection. But actually AT&T is hurrying things up a bit, they had planned to wait longer. The reason is obvious though, they don't want the lack of an LTE foothold to add to the headwinds they may face from the loss of iPhone exclusivity.
The first five markets will be some of the biggest within their home turf: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. By the end of the year, another 10 markets will come online. Some twenty phones and modems that work on the network will be available by then, according to the company, but nobody expects the iPhone to be among them.
AT&T is of course busy trying to convince everyone that without T-Mobile and its spectrum, both AT&T and the entire country face certain bandwidth doom. They'll be in Washington making the case for duopoly today. I can't bear to watch.
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