AT&T today announced that it will launch its LTE service in five markets beginning Sunday. The news came from a presentation that AT&T CFO John Stephens gave during and appearance at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media Entertainment and Communications conference.
The company plans to spread LTE service out across 70 million subscribers in 15 markets by the end of the year and has said that it plans to have its first LTE smartphone before the year is out as well. It already launched its first LTE tablet, the HTC Jetstream on September 6th.
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The only pricing that has been revealed so far is that data-only devices like the Jetstream and its 4G hotspots will have a $50 5GB plan available. One of its existing modems, the USBConnect Adrenaline, can be upgraded to LTE via a software update. AT&T’s LTE network is expected to deliver ‘real-world’ speeds of 5-12Mbps, which is slower that the consistent 15-16Mbps that we saw in recent tests of Verizon’s LTE network.
AT&T has a lot of catching up to do as Verizon’s LTE network now covers 160 million people in 117 cities, with plans for 175 markets by year’s end.