FierceWireless had a good short post yesterday titled AT&T to launch LTE by mid-2011 that detailed Fourth Generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) plans for AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The AT&T details come from a presentation by AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference. Here’s some highlights from the post:
- Is readying a nationwide HSPA+ (this is 3G technology) upgrade for this year, which AT&T executives have said will allow the carrier to deliver real-world download speeds of 7 Mbps. In the meantime, the carrier continues to upgrade backhaul to cell sites it has upgraded to HSPA 7.2 technology.
- Network upgrade efforts have been hampered by continuing parts shortages from key vendors. Stankey said company is currently dealing with $300 million worth of backlogged network equipment.
- By Oct. 1, will have added 600 additional radio carriers in San Francisco, which has been a trouble spot for the company.
- Currently conducting LTE trials in Baltimore and Dallas and is is spending $700 million in capital expenditures on LTE this year.
- Stankey said AT&T is working on a different kind of implementation for LTE than other carriers, and needs to carry forward its UMTS services (3G) to ensure that voice and data services can work simultaneously on both UMTS and LTE.
- Intends to launch 25-30 commercial LTE markets in the fourth quarter of this year, covering 100 million POPs. Verizon has said it plans to double the number of its LTE markets 15 months after its initial launch this year.