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AT&T on track to launch LTE 4G network by mid-2011, expand HSPA+

post #1 of 51
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AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., plans to launch its fourth-generation high-speed wireless network by mid-2011, and will continue to expand its speedy HPSA+ 3G network this year.

AT&T is currently conducting trials of its 4G long-term evolution network in Baltimore, Md., and Dallas, Tex., the company's operations chief executive, John Stankey, said Thursday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference. According to FierceWireless, he also said the company is on track to launch its LTE network by mid-2011.

The timing of AT&T's launch could allow for the next-generation iPhone, likely to be unveiled in June as it is every year, to connect to the high-speed 4G wireless network. Apple in the past sought to hire experts on LTE, presumably for a forthcoming handset.

AT&T will spend $700 million on its LTE network this year, and plans to "go far beyond that" in 2011, Stankey reportedly said. His news comes as competing carrier Verizon said it will launch its own LTE network in 30 National Football League cities by the end of 2010.

Stankey also said AT&T is preparing a nationwide HSPA+ upgrade for this year, which will allow for real-time download speeds of 7Mbps. Earlier this year, the company vowed that its high-speed upgrade will reach 250 million Americans in 2010.



AT&T has partnered with Alcatel and Lucent to build out its LTE network, which will deliver higher broadband throughput and lower latency than the company's existing 3G network, including the HPSA+ upgrades.

Stankey also revealed that AT&T has seen a 5,000 percent increase in wireless data traffic over the last three years, since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. The company's wireless data revenue is also up 27 percent.
post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., plans to launch its fourth-generation high-speed wireless network by mid-2011,

In how many locations? Without this information, the news could mean anything, and likely means almost nothing.
post #3 of 51
Where in the country are current "HPSA+ upgrades" being utilized, and can anyone tell the difference with current iphone download and upload speeds? Also, wasn't this the "problem" that ATT admitted they had with software at some sites, shortly after the iP4 was introduced in June?
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

In how many locations? Without this information, the news could mean anything, and likely means almost nothing.

So far only 2 cities were mention as being tested...
post #5 of 51
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post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T will spend $700 million on its LTE network this year, and plans to "go far beyond that" in 2011, Stankey reportedly said. His news comes as competing carrier Verizon said it will launch its own LTE network in 30 National Football League cities by the end of 2010.

I hope AT&T decides to launch LTE in 30 Major League Baseball cities since we have no football teams in LA/OC. Of course some could argue we don't have any baseball teams either.

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post #7 of 51
Anyone know if this NEW LTE 4G network support the current iPhone 4 ??
post #8 of 51
We hear something about LTE on AT&T. I've skip the iPhone 4 because my 3GS works fine and with the latest firmware, iam good to go. Hopefully the next generation iPhone will be able to use LTE/4G
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I hope AT&T decides to launch LTE in 30 Major League Baseball cities since we have no football teams in LA/OC. Of course some could argue we don't have any baseball teams either.

Yeah, I agree with you on the first sentence.. Don't know about the second one..
post #10 of 51
Meh, UNLESS, there will be an iphone LTE version at the same time? That is the real question - will there be an LTE iphone next June?

PLUS - Verizon says they will have their version of LTE up too... hmmmm, next year 'could' be an interesting smart phone year.
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post #11 of 51
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Originally Posted by BuffyzDead View Post

Anyone know if this NEW LTE 4G network support the current iPhone 4 ??

Nope. In fact, given the inevitable stately pace of rollout, my guess is that next summer's iPhone 5 won't support it either, since 4G is unlikely to be available to any but a small percentage of AT&T's customers.

Of course, the wild card would be if Verizon's 4G is far enough along to justify making the jump, by then.
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post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I hope AT&T decides to launch LTE in 30 Major League Baseball cities since we have no football teams in LA/OC. Of course some could argue we don't have any baseball teams either.

BEAT LA (sorry bout that - bet you don't miss Manny, do you?)

from a Giants and A's fan.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Nope. In fact, given the inevitable stately pace of rollout, my guess is that next summer's iPhone 5 won't support it either, since 4G is unlikely to be available to any but a small percentage of AT&T's customers.

Of course, the wild card would be if Verizon's 4G is far enough along to justify making the jump, by then.

I disagree. I think the obvious choice next year is for the "iPhone 4" to become the "iPhone 4G." There are already 4G Android phones for starters.

Also, my limited understanding of LTE is that it will be implemented using the same radio frequencies at all carriers, so if you think of the fact that the iPhone is sold world-wide, and not just in the USA, it makes a lot of sense. If they don't, Android will have something in the USA to hold over Apple speed-wise, and Nokia will have phones in Europe that use it as well.

The only issue I see is whether it's possible to add it in and still keep the other radios as well. As long as it's an add-on, they would be very, very foolish not to implement it. It would be like handing all of your best customers to the other guys.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Nope. In fact, given the inevitable stately pace of rollout, my guess is that next summer's iPhone 5 won't support it either, since 4G is unlikely to be available to any but a small percentage of AT&T's customers.

Of course, the wild card would be if Verizon's 4G is far enough along to justify making the jump, by then.

How much do Sprint customers have to pay extra for LTE, and is it for unlimited data? I would have to guess that ATT will milk it for all it's worth, and make you pay for data, rather than have unlimited data, don't you think?

Currently, iP4 upgrades are able to keep unlimited data plans, but I would have to guess that ATT will do away with that for LTE, don't you think?
post #15 of 51
iPhone 5 "LTE"
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post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I disagree. I think the obvious choice next year is for the "iPhone 4" to become the "iPhone 4G." There are already 4G Android phones for starters.

Also, my limited understanding of LTE is that it will be implemented using the same radio frequencies at all carriers, so if you think of the fact that the iPhone is sold world-wide, and not just in the USA, it makes a lot of sense. If they don't, Android will have something in the USA to hold over Apple speed-wise, and Nokia will have phones in Europe that use it as well.

The only issue I see is whether it's possible to add it in and still keep the other radios as well. As long as it's an add-on, they would be very, very foolish not to implement it. It would be like handing all of your best customers to the other guys.

But Apple has proven historically resistant to adding features just to placate the spec triumphalists, and certainly doesn't seem much concerned with matching Android tit for tat.

In fact, they're well know for holding the line on new features even when their own customers seem ready to riot. I think it all comes down to numbers. If LTE deployment covers enough people to make it a widely useful, then sure. If not, I don't see any way Apple would go there just for bragging rights.
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post #17 of 51
iPhone 4G
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post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

How much do Sprint customers have to pay extra for LTE, and is it for unlimited data? I would have to guess that ATT will milk it for all it's worth, and make you pay for data, rather than have unlimited data, don't you think?

Currently, iP4 upgrades are able to keep unlimited data plans, but I would have to guess that ATT will do away with that for LTE, don't you think?

Sprint doesn’t use LTE for 4G’, they use WiMAX. Each user pays an extra $10/month for it regardless of whether they live in an area with any WiMAX towers if their phone supports WiMAX. It also sucks the battery life while not offering any feasible real world benefit over a mature and efficient ‘3G’ offered by AT&T and other carriers using the 3GSM(UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA) standard.

LTE is in the same boat. The HW is expensive. The HW is still highly power inefficient. The HW is still large compared to ‘3G’ components for new devices. I’d also wager that even if Apple wanted LTE for the iPhone 5 that the number of chips would not be sourcable, even if they fit into Apple’s razor sharp vision on increasing battery life while making the device thinner.

I’m sure Apple is testing LTE phones, but I’d say the earliest we should expect them is 2012. Note that ‘3G’ standards used in the iPhone has the theoretical maximum well above what LTE will be capable of for many, many years to comes. What this means to consumers is that ‘3G’ speeds for a carrier like AT&T could very easily be faster than ‘4G’ speed for Verizon for several years, while offering better power consumption and lower priced components.
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post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

How much do Sprint customers have to pay extra for LTE, and is it for unlimited data? I would have to guess that ATT will milk it for all it's worth, and make you pay for data, rather than have unlimited data, don't you think?

Currently, iP4 upgrades are able to keep unlimited data plans, but I would have to guess that ATT will do away with that for LTE, don't you think?

Sprint Customers use WiMAX which is not LTE compatible, so it's sort of apples (no pun) to oranges. As for price, they appear to be between 40, 45, and 50 for (currently) unlimited WiMax only, and $60 for 3G/WiMax unlimited.

And I think you worry about the wrong things. The three questions are

1) when does the Apple ATT exclusivity agreement end
2) Will Verizon have a compelling LTE rollout by Xmas to have Apple consider them in addition to ATT?
3) Will Verizon cave to Apple demands of control of the phone.

solipsism has a good point. HSPA+ is probably your 4th concern.
4) Can ATT rollout an effective non-constrained HSPA+ network that is competitive to Verizon's LTE speeds.

that last point is telling... when HSPA+ is working in Minneapolis... I'm seeing the download speeds closing in my WiFi 11n network connected to 20Mb/896K DSL (I get about 8M/.8M on wifi 4Mb/2Mb on HSPA+)... If I can get 4-7 Mb/2-3Mb on HSPA+, then I'm happy to hang on to my iP4.
post #20 of 51
WHEN is AT&T deploying LTE Advanced? THAT is the only TRUE 4G LTE. The rest is just marketing hype.
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Sprint Customers use WiMAX which is not LTE compatible, so it's sort of apples (no pun) to oranges. As for price, they appear to be between 40, 45, and 50 for (currently) unlimited WiMax only, and $60 for 3G/WiMax unlimited.

And I think you worry about the wrong things. The three questions are

1) when does the Apple ATT exclusivity agreement end
2) Will Verizon have a compelling LTE rollout by Xmas to have Apple consider them in addition to ATT?
3) Will Verizon cave to Apple demands of control of the phone.

solipsism has a good point. HSPA+ is probably your 4th concern.
4) Can ATT rollout an effective non-constrained HSPA+ network that is competitive to Verizon's LTE speeds.

that last point is telling... when HSPA+ is working in Minneapolis... I'm seeing the download speeds closing in my WiFi 11n network connected to 20Mb/896K DSL (I get about 8M/.8M on wifi 4Mb/2Mb on HSPA+)... If I can get 4-7 Mb/2-3Mb on HSPA+, then I'm happy to hang on to my iP4.

Good points of course. My 3G coverage with my 3Gs is actually faster than my WIFI connection both at work and at home (by about 20%), so here in Mountain View/Palo Alto, the 3G speed is pretty good.
post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Where in the country are current "HPSA+ upgrades" being utilized, and can anyone tell the difference with current iphone download and upload speeds? Also, wasn't this the "problem" that ATT admitted they had with software at some sites, shortly after the iP4 was introduced in June?

Minneapolis is 'fixed' as of Mid August (the problem was Alcatel/Lucent SW bugs wasn't stable once you actually pushed upload speeds above HSPA speeds, hence they had to downgrade/cap upload speeds).

Unfortunately, they are still woefully under towered and backhauled in the downtown areas, including a 1bar-deadzone in the building where I work ;-(
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

WHEN is AT&T deploying LTE Advanced? THAT is the only TRUE 4G LTE. The rest is just marketing hype.

That will be years from now.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But Apple has proven historically resistant to adding features just to placate the spec triumphalists, and certainly doesn't seem much concerned with matching Android tit for tat.

In fact, they're well know for holding the line on new features even when their own customers seem ready to riot. I think it all comes down to numbers. If LTE deployment covers enough people to make it a widely useful, then sure. If not, I don't see any way Apple would go there just for bragging rights.

Yes. I think we are basically in agreement, we only disagree on how far LTE has spread already or is going to spread in the near future.

I think it's already in enough markets that it's worthwhile adding into the iPhone and essentially a mistake if it isn't. Overall, if the competitors are selling LTE phones, then to me that's indication that there are enough markets even within the continental USA to make it worthwhile.

Again, my only caveat is that if it requires a separate LTE only phone that won't work on other networks as well, then they might not do it.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Sprint Customers use WiMAX which is not LTE compatible, so it's sort of apples (no pun) to oranges. As for price, they appear to be between 40, 45, and 50 for (currently) unlimited WiMax only, and $60 for 3G/WiMax unlimited.

And I think you worry about the wrong things. The three questions are

1) when does the Apple ATT exclusivity agreement end
2) Will Verizon have a compelling LTE rollout by Xmas to have Apple consider them in addition to ATT?
3) Will Verizon cave to Apple demands of control of the phone.

solipsism has a good point. HSPA+ is probably your 4th concern.
4) Can ATT rollout an effective non-constrained HSPA+ network that is competitive to Verizon's LTE speeds.

that last point is telling... when HSPA+ is working in Minneapolis... I'm seeing the download speeds closing in my WiFi 11n network connected to 20Mb/896K DSL (I get about 8M/.8M on wifi 4Mb/2Mb on HSPA+)... If I can get 4-7 Mb/2-3Mb on HSPA+, then I'm happy to hang on to my iP4.

Good points. So far, 3G speeds have been pretty Good. I was downloading an album on my 3GS (download app from the app store) and my friend, with his Evo, was downloading one song from the amazon mp3 market. By the time I finished downloading the album (9 songs) he was around 80% with his download. Oh and he was using 3G speeds not 4G. So I'm pretty satisfied with my 3G from AT&T.
post #26 of 51
Quick look at the numbers....

2009 Q3 Net Income 3.2b
2009 Q4 Net Income 3.0b
2010 Q1 Net Income 2.5b
2010 Q2 Net Income 4.0b

12.5b in profits over a 12 month term and they are spending how much on this new technology this year? 700m?!?!

Not sure how they can swing it....
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post #27 of 51
Great: just in time to pick up a 5th gen iPhone, which will also have NFC in it. 6th gen iPhone will also be a must-purchase though, because it will contain some even better than NFC
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post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yes. I think we are basically in agreement, we only disagree on how far LTE has spread already or is going to spread in the near future.

I think it's already in enough markets that it's worthwhile adding into the iPhone and essentially a mistake if it isn't. Overall, if the competitors are selling LTE phones, then to me that's indication that there are enough markets even within the continental USA to make it worthwhile.

If those LTE phones are viewed as an overall better experience, then you have a point, but if in practice, LTE is more like a energy eating 3G phone, constantly searching for LTE service (like the old days with your iPhone 3... when it was better to turn off 3G in settings and live with 2G coverage than to constantly be renegotiating on the fringes of the service area).

I think Apple will basically say... as soon as [50%? 75%] of ATT's current [at that time] 3G area is getting better LTE service [speed and stability] than 3G service, then it's time to deliver LTE. Until then, Apple will likely focus on other measures of value, such as battery life, features and functions (and sexy form factors;-) The longer you wait, the more Moore's law delivers cheaper, smaller, faster, and hopefully more reliable LTE chipsets, letting the other phone manufacturers field test the iterations.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I disagree. I think the obvious choice next year is for the "iPhone 4" to become the "iPhone 4G." There are already 4G Android phones for starters.

There are? Plural?

The only 4G Android phone I've heard of in the US market is the Sprint 4G, and technically that's not 4G, but WiMax (although it can be argued that 4G and WiMax are equivalent, although incompatible). The only LTE 4G network in Europe is a test setup in Stockholm. Obviously more will be coming as LTE rolls out.

So what are these multiple Android 4G phones?
post #30 of 51
Verizon, at least, is claiming "mid 2011" for their LTE handset introduction, and that's an ambitious schedule that moves up their original timeline. I think it's going to be a while yet before there's really much of a perception that "4G" is a necessary thing for a phone to have.
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post #31 of 51
I believe iPhone 5 is unlikely to support LTE --- why? Because Apple does not like to stay at the cutting edge with radio tech. I mean the first iphone was 2.5G and not 3G even though it was available ...Apple chose 2.5G because AT&T's 3G was available in only select areas... same case would be here. AT&T is just launching in mid-2011, they will obvioulsly launch only in select markets - and roll over the rest of the nation in 1-2 years from then. I believe iPhone 6 will definitely be LTE.

Also when LTE is launched there will be initial hiccups -- it will take time to mature. The tech is pretty new and untested in production.

Thirdly, if they do launch a verizon iphone in jan, Verizon would have just launched LTE in 30 markets in december -- so the same reasons apply and iPhone for Verizon should also just be CDMA2000, and not LTE.

There is one caveat to all this though -- with android as a thread, I feel Apple has upped the gear a bit. For example, iphone 4 was a substantial leap over iphone 3Gs, and had a lot of features to become one of the best smartphone in the market even in terms of features. So Apple seems to be upping the ante a bit here. So Apple could definitely make the gamble of launching LTE with iphone 5 or with verizon iphone -- just for the competitive edge -- but even with all this, it seems unlikely to me that Apple will go for LTE.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yes. I think we are basically in agreement, we only disagree on how far LTE has spread already or is going to spread in the near future.

I think it's already in enough markets that it's worthwhile adding into the iPhone and essentially a mistake if it isn't. Overall, if the competitors are selling LTE phones, then to me that's indication that there are enough markets even within the continental USA to make it worthwhile.

Again, my only caveat is that if it requires a separate LTE only phone that won't work on other networks as well, then they might not do it.

LTE won't matter to most people until sometime in the latter half of 2012. That's true for Verizon as well as AT&T. But by 2013, it won't matter much, as they will both be pretty set with it.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Good points of course. My 3G coverage with my 3Gs is actually faster than my WIFI connection both at work and at home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post

Good points. So far, 3G speeds have been pretty Good. I was downloading an album on my 3GS...

Just wait until you get a phone with HSUPA, like the iPhone 4 has. Youll get uploads with a theoretical upper limit of 5.76 Mbps. I easily average 1-2Mbps uploads. I rarely get that from the WiFi-based internet I connect to.

In case you arent aware, 3G HSUPA has an upper limit of 84.4Mbps for uploads. Im not worried about data speeds from being on this old hat 3G marketing term.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Verizon, at least, is claiming "mid 2011" for their LTE handset introduction, and that's an ambitious schedule that moves up their original timeline. I think it's going to be a while yet before there's really much of a perception that "4G" is a necessary thing for a phone to have.

Japan and other countries that are smaller geographically, denser and more inclined to need LTE stated at least a year ago that handsets wouldnt come until at least the beginning of 2011. Yet, despite me pointing this out back then there were posters showing me how Verizon had claimed to have LTE in x-many cities covering x-many people by x-date.

Now its September 2010 and I havent even heard of Verizon LTE data connect cards on the market, which are products that actually exist for the few carriers that are using LTE, so I have to think that mid-2011 is not only optimistic but would be for a milestone LTE handset that will have the same 4G downfalls as the EVO 4G, and another solid year before LTE even starts to become a viable option, thus putting 2012 as the year of LTE. That is my optimistic prediction.
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post #34 of 51
I understand Dallas, but why Baltimore? Better bring it to chicago next, we are nice and flat, a perfect test ground. And we have an NFL team as well.
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post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

In how many locations? Without this information, the news could mean anything, and likely means almost nothing.

Why don't you try reading the article. It clearly says how many....Sheesh...noob
post #36 of 51
If they've cracked going 'vertical' on the rollout on July 1, 2012, as it appears from the graph on the dividing line, they should just go for 7 billion and cover everything. Then again, based on the 300M 3G subscribers they cover so well today... uh... never mind.
post #37 of 51
Just another promise by AT&T. Ther're always promising better service but have never delivered on their promises. Doubtful we'll see any improvement with ATT's 4G. I doubt we'll even see it by mid 2011 !!

Hopefully AT&T proves me wrong.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

I understand Dallas, but why Baltimore? Better bring it to chicago next, we are nice and flat, a perfect test ground. And we have an NFL team as well.

Baltimore has WiMax so from a competitive standpoint it make some sense.
post #39 of 51
So iPhone 5 will have LTE?

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post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Baltimore has WiMax so from a competitive standpoint it make some sense.

We've got clear wire WiMax and Sprint 4G as well. Had it for a while now.
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