Speedy AT&T LTE Network Revealed

Customers of AT&T, which is reportedly ready to debut its 4G LTE network in Americas two largest cities this summer, could be in for quite a speedy treat if the network comes even close to the speeds its showing in trials.

Download speeds are as high as 28.87 Mbps and uploads can reach 10.4 Mbps, as shown in tests done in AT&Ts Plano, Texas, laboratory this week for tech site GigaOM. Sure, itll never be that fast in the real world when AT&T customers everywhere are sharing the cell-waves,” but if the network were even half that speedy, it would be twice as fast as Verizon Wireless nascent LTE network. Verizon touts download speeds of up to 5-12 Mbps and uploads of 2-5 Mbps.

No matter how it compares to Verizon, the network will be a huge step up for AT&T customers. The carrier can only promise 3.77 Mbps downloads and 1.21 Mbps uploads for the iPhone 4 on its HSPA+ network, according to the GigaOM report.

Of course, for iPhone customers to take advantage of AT&Ts much faster offering, it will need an upgrade itself. The Silicon Valley giant earlier this year debuted an iPhone capable of running on Verizons 3G network, but Apple has thus far failed to develop a 4G-compatible device. And most analysts expect if the fifth-generation iPhone (likely called the iPhone 4S) debuts late this summer or early fall, it still wont be 4G-ready. That would mean waiting for the iPhone 6 likely in mid-2012 before anyone could take advantage of the major speed upgrade.

As true 4G networks become more common, a delay in production of a 4G iPhone would seem counterproductive, seeing as how Android has surpassed Apples iOS in market share. Both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have promised a healthy number of 4G Android smartphones to be released throughout 2011.

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