AT&T Mobility has expanded its LTE network to 11 new markets, pushing the network to 26 total markets covering 74 million potential customers. The newly launched markets include: New York; Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill and Raleigh, N.C.; Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; and Phoenix.
Consumers are also to be warned that the “4G” marketing used for the LTE service is different than the “4G” marketing AT&T Mobility has been using for its HSPA+-based offering, which while slower does have a much larger footprint.
AT&T Mobility originally launched LTE services in mid-September with five markets, and said it expects its LTE network expansion to be completed by 2013, though did not put a coverage number to that expansion. The carrier had said it could cover about 250 million potential customers with its spectrum holdings prior to its failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA, a number that would rise to 97.3% of the U.S. population if the T-Mobile USA deal was approved. Now, without the T-Mobile USA spectrum, as well as those assets given up to Deutsche Telekom as part of the break-up fee, AT&T Mobility’s LTE coverage plans are a bit in flux.
AT&T did close on its acquisition of 700 MHz spectrum assets from Qualcomm, that AT&T Mobility is expected to use to increase downlink capacity of its LTE network. Those assets, along with previous 700 MHz spectrum deals, should help alleviate the strain caused by AT&T having to give up 1.7/2.1 GHZ (AWS) spectrum licenses covering 128 markets, including 12 of the nation’s top 20 markets to DT as part of the break-up fee for dropping the T-Mobile USA deal.
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