AT&T is joining the 4G party this summer.
The telecom giant plans to roll out 4G LTE this summer in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio joining its rival Verizon Wireless in the race to deliver lightning speeds to mobile subscribers across the United States.
Dallas-based AT&T also plans to roll out LTE in 10 other markets this year, reaching 70 million Americans with the high-speed wireless network by the end of 2011, AT&T Business Solutions President and CEO John Stankey announced this morning at the Barclays Capital Global Communications, Media and Technology Conference in New York.
We also have plans to add 20 4G devices to our device portfolio this year, with some of those being LTE capable,” AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan wrote today in a blog.
AT&T plans to invest $19 billion this year in its wireless and wireline networks and other projects, Donovan said.
AT&T lags behind Verizon Wireless in the 4G race. Verizon Wireless, the nations largest mobile operator with around 88 million retail customers, announced last week that its fourth-generation LTE network is available in 55 markets.
But AT&T the second-largest mobile operator has led the news headlines this year with its pending $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA under a controversial deal that would make AT&T the biggest wireless provider in the United States.
T-Mobile USA, which operates an HSPA+ 4G network and is the fourth-largest mobile operator, announced Tuesday that it is doubling the speed of its 4G network in 55 markets from Atlanta to Chicago to Los Angeles. The company said the upgrade will enable it to achieve theoretical peak download speeds of up to 42 megabits per second (Mbps).”