AT&T has finally announced some concrete information on its plans to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. According to reports in the press, the company expects to begin deploying the new 4G network from mid-2011 and complete the nationwide rollout by the end of 2013. AT&T’s decision to bring forward its 4G network plans reflects moves by rival network operators Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel which have already launched 4G networks based on LTE and WiMAX respectively. Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T’s wireless unit, speaking at an AT&T conference in Las Vegas, promised that AT&T’s network would be the fastest and ‘deliver the best customer experience’.
Vega also announced that AT&T had completed the upgrade of its extensive 3G network to HSPA+, delivering up to 6Mbps download speeds. Meanwhile competitor T-Mobile USA chose the same conference to announce plans to double the top speed of its HSPA+ network to 42Mbps. The company hopes to launch at least 25 compatible devices for the network this year. The faster service should launch by mid-year and initially cover 140 million people in 25 metro areas.