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AT&T announces first five markets for LTE

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Following a demo of its LTE network last week, US carrier AT&T has announced the first five markets into which it will launch LTE services – Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio. The news was made by John Donovan, chief technology officer for AT&T on his company blog. Donovan did not provide an exact date for the launch, stating only that the networks would be rolled out, “this summer”.

Donovan said that AT&T plans to add another ten markets in the second half of the year, covering 70 million people by the end of 2011. By contrast, Verizon Wireless launched its service offering LTE coverage to a potential 110 million people.

He also said that AT&T plans to add a total of 20 new 4G devices to its portfolio by the end of 2011, but in an example of the confusing 4G marketing taking place could only confirm that some of these would be LTE capable.

In a statement AT&T said that it had invested $75bn into its wireless and wired networks over the past four years and intends to invest a further $19bn this year.

In related news, AT&T has applied to the FCC to approve the purchase of nearly two dozen further 700MHz spectrum licences in Minnesota and Wisconsin as it looks to roll out LTE in those areas.

The company is currently seeking FCC approval for a $39bn takeover of T-Mobile USA operations and spectrum and last year purchased Qualcomm’s spectrum license for $1.93bn.

The fourth annual LTE North America Conference takes place in Texas, US, November 8-9

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