Ina Fried

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AT&T and Friends Talk Up 4G Network, New Devices

AT&T said on Wednesday that it plans to speed up development of its next-generation cellular network, completing the LTE network by the end of 2013.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, AT&T executive Ralph de la Vega said that the company plans to release 20 4G devices this year both for the LTE network and for its current HSPA+ network.

De La Vega said just after that that the company will have devices on the Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 operating systems. (Update: 12:12 p.m.: While some in the audience, including Mobilized, heard an implication that there would be a 4G iPhone, an AT&T representative said De La Vega was only saying that the iPhone would be part of AT&T’s smartphone lineup and not suggesting a 4G version.)

Among the devices that will be on AT&T’s HSPA+ network is the Motorola Atrix 4G, a dual-core-powered Android phone from Motorola. The phone, which also packs 1GB of RAM, was launched by Sanjay Jha, CEO of newly split-off Motorola Mobility. one of the more interesting features is the phone’s optional “lap dock,” which allows the phone to power a small laptop capable of running a desktop version of the Firefox browser, among other programs.

AT&T will also have a new phone from HTC that will include a new version of the company’s Sense user interface and also connect to a new Web portal.

“ makes your smartphone even smarter,” HTC CEO Peter Chou said, demonstrating a feature that lets you ring your phone when it is lost in the house or send a lost-and-found message to appear on a phone you left in a cab.

By building both HSPA+ and LTE networks, De la Vega said that the company will offer more speed and flexibility.

“More importantly, we will deliver an experience our competitors will not be able to match,” De la Vega said.

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