AT&T expands 4G LTE coverage to 9 new markets, 44 more coming in 2012

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T on Thursday announced it has expanded its high-speed 4G long-term evolution coverage into 9 new areas of the U.S., with 44 more markets coming before the end of 2012.

AT&T's massive expansion of its 4G LTE network comes as Apple is expected to introduce its next-generation iPhone at a media event next Wednesday. Currently, the third-generation iPad is Apple's only 4G LTE device, but it's anticipated that the company's next iPhone will also be compatible with the latest high-speed cellular networks.

The nation's second-largest wireless carrier, AT&T, has boasted that its 4G LTE network is capable of delivering mobile Internet speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. The company has invested more than $115 billion into operations and acquiring spectrum and other assets enhancing its wireless and wired networks over the last five years.

As of Thursday, AT&T's 4G LTE network is now available in:
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Bridgeport, Conn.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Modesto, Calif.
  • North Montgomery County, Md.
  • Northern New Jersey
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
The company also sent out a flurry of press releases on Thursday, revealing that its 4G LTE network will launch in the following markets before the end of the year:
  • Albany, N.Y.
  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Allentown, Penn.
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Columbia, S.C.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Denver-Boulder, Colo.
  • El Paso, Tex.
  • Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Ft. Myers, Fla.
  • Gary, Ind.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Green Bay, Wis.
  • Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Hartford, Conn.
  • Hawaii
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Lancaster, Pa.
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Louisville, Ken.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Nashua, N.H.
  • New Haven, Conn.
  • Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Reading, Pa.
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Salinas-Seaside-Monterey, Calif.
  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Springfield, Mass.
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Tucson, Ariz.
  • Tulsa, Okla.
  • Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
  • Wilmington, Del.
AT&T


There is a distinction between AT&T's HSDPA network, which it began advertising as "4G" to iPhone 4S users starting with iOS 5.1, and the carrier's "true" 4G LTE network currently rolling out. The iPhone 4S is capable of 4G-like speeds thanks to AT&T's HSDPA network, however it is not a true fourth-generation network.

The change has allowed AT&T to further differentiate itself from competitors Verizon and Sprint, both of which carry the iPhone but run CDMA networks with slower 3G speeds.

Apple has addressed this distinction by displaying a connection symbol of "LTE" in the upper left corner of the iPad when connected to a 4G LTE network. iPhone 4S owners connected to AT&T's HSDPA network still receive a "4G" indicator on their device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61


    They are still way way way behind Verizon. Not to mention their roll out makes no sense. Now available in Anchorage Alaska, yet a city like Philly (5th largest) is still coming soon. Good going guys.

  • Reply 2 of 61


    I can't believe Minneapolis/St. Paul is not no this list - Anchorage Alaska gets LTE before Minneapolis - makes no sense!!

  • Reply 3 of 61
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member


    Given that our metro area is over a million people, I'm always surprised they wait as long as they do for Louisville KY.  I am pleasantly surprised it isn't super far down the list for their LTE rollout tho.  I know Sprint's WiMax never had us on their radar and Verizon didn't get here till last November w/their LTE.  Of course, I have an iPhone on Sprint so it all means jack to me heh

  • Reply 4 of 61
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    They are still way way way behind Verizon. Not to mention their roll out makes no sense. Now available in Anchorage Alaska, yet a city like Philly (5th largest) is still coming soon. Good going guys.

    I'm sure it has more to do with working the bugs out of the system on a small implementation than anything else. Think of it like this, the original LTE Cities were "1.0", Anchorage is "1.1" and the newer cities will be something like "1.2".
  • Reply 5 of 61
    neilmneilm Posts: 917member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Mpls View Post


    I can't believe Minneapolis/St. Paul is not no this list - Anchorage Alaska gets LTE before Minneapolis - makes no sense!!



     


    There are likely good reasons for the way any provider plans its rollout: market size, existing subscriber base, backhaul infrastructure already in place, and likely lots more that we don't know. We have Vz LTE here in Fort Wayne, IN, the second largest city in the state at about 250K population. However AT&T rolled theirs out in Muncie and not here, despite that being a much smaller market.


     


    I guess the good news is that the rollout pace is really gathering momentum.

  • Reply 6 of 61
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,745member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    They are still way way way behind Verizon. Not to mention their roll out makes no sense. Now available in Anchorage Alaska, yet a city like Philly (5th largest) is still coming soon. Good going guys.



     


    Agreed.  I have had AT&T since my first iPhone (3G) and now continue on with the 4.  I have already decided I am bailing and going back to Verizon when I order my iPhone 5.  My wife and I are on a family plan, but I've "served my time" on my contractual obligation, so I think I alone can bail.  


     


    The fact that Philadelphia doesn't have LTE is absurd.  But it's worse than that.  It will be YEARS before the Philly suburbs and exurbs get it (where I am).  I am in the very last Western suburb of Philly...halfway to Lancaster, PA...and Verizon already has LTE coverage here.  Add that to AT&T's bogus mobile share pricing and absolutely UNRELIABLE, CRAPPY NETWORK and my decision is easy.  


     


     


     


     


      "Bye Bye..."

  • Reply 7 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    razorpit wrote: »
    I'm sure it has more to do with working the bugs out of the system on a small implementation than anything else. Think of it like this, the original LTE Cities were "1.0", Anchorage is "1.1" and the newer cities will be something like "1.2".

    The number of users on a tower at a given time is an issue but a city like Philadelphia might also have regulations that make it harder for AT&T to setup new equipment, especially if that requires them to use new tower placement because of the different frequency band.
  • Reply 8 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Agreed.  I have had AT&T since my first iPhone (3G) and now continue on with the 4.  I have already decided I am bailing and going back to Verizon when I order my iPhone 5.  My wife and I are on a family plan, but I've "served my time" on my contractual obligation, so I think I alone can bail.

    I'll be going to Verizon because their LTE is faster. This assumes that the new iPhone will have LTE and will allow for simultaneous voice and data.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    focherfocher Posts: 685member


    I still don't understand why anyone enters a cell phone contract. It makes no financial sense when compared to buying an unlocked device and doing a prepaid, especially if you do the prepaid through an MVNO. The payback is something like 6-8 months. The only frustrating thing will be that none of the first tier operators allow MVNOs to access their LTE networks. However, HSPA+ isn't actually that much slower than LTE in actual practice. In fact, between my iPad 3 on AT&T's LTE network and my iPhone 4S's HSPA+ I can't tell much difference.

  • Reply 10 of 61

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


     


    There are likely good reasons for the way any provider plans its rollout: market size, existing subscriber base, backhaul infrastructure already in place, and likely lots more that we don't know. 




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    The number of users on a tower at a given time is an issue but a city like Philadelphia might also have regulations that make it harder for AT&T to setup new equipment, especially if that requires them to use new tower placement because of the different frequency band.


     


    This argument makes no sense. If you can cover the largest, most congested city in the US, you should be able to cover one 80 miles away that's 1/4 the size and a smaller area.

  • Reply 11 of 61

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by focher View Post


    I still don't understand why anyone enters a cell phone contract. It makes no financial sense when compared to buying an unlocked device and doing a prepaid...



     


          I am confounded by this too.  Do the math people, you are throwing away money when you buy on contract!  Yes, I paid over $600 for the iPhone 4S, but compared to a 2-year AT&T contract I will save $1000 on H2O Wireless.

  • Reply 12 of 61
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,440member


    I completely agree. Been with AT&T since the beginning. AT&T is definitely trying to keep up with the Jones' in this case. They are behind, yet still charge as much or more than their competitors. The whole FaceTime debacle has proven to me AT&T doesn't care about their customers any way shape or form. I'm gone (with unlimited data plan) soon as the iPhone 5 comes out. Going to an unlocked no contract carrier.

  • Reply 13 of 61


    Thank God Albany is on the list....  BUT, how MUCH of Albany will be covered is the REAL question!


    AT&T has a knack for saying that they are available in certain cities only to find out that it is the most downtown section of a city that has LTE.  News flash AT&T not many people actually reside in downtown metro areas...

  • Reply 14 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    This argument makes no sense. If you can cover the largest, most congested city in the US, you should be able to cover one 80 miles away that's 1/4 the size and a smaller area.

    There is no blanket set of laws that govern the entire world or a nation. As we've seen many times before building a new tower in SF is lot more difficult than building one in Dallas.

    You seem to be looking at it as if the carrier is out to piss you off when you should be looking at it from their PoV and wondering why would they choose one city over another.

    Cost for equipment for a low population node compared to another city? Perhaps they have a bunch of older LTE equipment they can ship up there. Equipment that wouldn't be suited for a congested city with thousands of people on a node at a given time. Perhaps deals with tower purchases, leases, or other deals have gone through more quickly.

    The bottom line is no company is out to get any of us, but are out to get our money so they will build in a way they think will increase their bottom line. It's that simple.
  • Reply 15 of 61
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,633member


    Funny how many people posting here are saying adios to AT&T yet their subscriber base keeps growing. I guess only stupid people use AT&T just like only stupid people buy Apple products. Is that the argument you really want to make? 

  • Reply 16 of 61
    doh123doh123 Posts: 323member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by focher View Post


    I still don't understand why anyone enters a cell phone contract. It makes no financial sense when compared to buying an unlocked device and doing a prepaid, especially if you do the prepaid through an MVNO. The payback is something like 6-8 months. The only frustrating thing will be that none of the first tier operators allow MVNOs to access their LTE networks. However, HSPA+ isn't actually that much slower than LTE in actual practice. In fact, between my iPad 3 on AT&T's LTE network and my iPhone 4S's HSPA+ I can't tell much difference.



     


    and what prices are you actually getting for your usage?  Last I did the math with what I do, I would be paying just about the same monthly fee either way... if thats the case why not get the discount off the purchase price?  Its not like I'm going to stop using the phone in under a couple years.

  • Reply 17 of 61

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    There is no blanket set of laws that govern the entire world or a nation. As we've seen many times before building a new tower in SF is lot more difficult than building one in Dallas.


     


    My point is it's all marketing spin. It's in their practical interest to cover more people at once: more customers, more perceived coverage, more revenue,  (as Verizon mostly did with their rollout), but instead they'd rather pat their backs and say hey we even have LTE in Alaska! My parents reside less ~50 miles from NYC, they were on EDGE until last year, only a few months shy of Verizon flipping the LTE switch. What a joke.

  • Reply 18 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    focher wrote: »
    I still don't understand why anyone enters a cell phone contract. It makes no financial sense when compared to buying an unlocked device and doing a prepaid, especially if you do the prepaid through an MVNO. The payback is something like 6-8 months. The only frustrating thing will be that none of the first tier operators allow MVNOs to access their LTE networks. However, HSPA+ isn't actually that much slower than LTE in actual practice. In fact, between my iPad 3 on AT&T's LTE network and my iPhone 4S's HSPA+ I can't tell much difference.

    the_steve wrote: »
          I am confounded by this too.  Do the math people, you are throwing away money when you buy on contract!  Yes, I paid over $600 for the iPhone 4S, but compared to a 2-year AT&T contract I will save $1000 on H2O Wireless.

    For the service I get with some regional carrier or MNVO it's not worth any slight gain in the TCO. I could buy my iPhone for, what $900(?) instead of $400 and then pay the same per month for a contract with a carrier with a decent data plan. Not having a contract gain me any advantage, it just costs me $500 more a year for the phone.
  • Reply 19 of 61

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Mpls View Post


    I can't believe Minneapolis/St. Paul is not no this list - Anchorage Alaska gets LTE before Minneapolis - makes no sense!!





    If you look at the map, it looks like Minne/St Paul is listed as a coming soon LTE city.


     


    Also cities that already have LTE:


    LA


    SF


    Miami/Ft Lauderdale/Palm Beach


    Houston


    Dallas/Ft Worth


    Atlanta


     


    ...and btw I pay about $125 a month for 2 phones, unlimitted data (of which I usually use between 2 and 3 gb per month).  Haven't seen a no contract plan that compares

  • Reply 20 of 61


    No matter how desirable Verizon's 4G speeds may be, they don't even have voice coverage in my neighborhood.   They're useless to me.   And they're doing everything they can to delay Voice over LTE.   So I guess, I'm sticking with AT&T, despite their poor 4G LTE coverage.  At least i can use the phone on their network.

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