Ina Fried

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AT&T Announces Its First Five LTE Markets (Sorry, San Francisco and New York)

AT&T on Wednesday announced the first five cities that will be part of its high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network.

The carrier said it will light up LTE networks in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio this summer, with 10 or more additional markets coming in the second half of the year.

AT&T is in the process of both adding an HSPA+ network, similar to the kind of higher-speed network used by T-Mobile, as well as LTE, which is the technology being used by Verizon Wireless. Spring’s high-speed network–the oldest of the bunch–uses WiMax technology. All are marketed as “4G,” making it hard to tell what’s what.

“We also have plans to add 20 4G devices to our robust device portfolio this year, with some of those being LTE capable,” AT&T CTO John Donovan said in a blog post. “We’re positioning to deliver a great mobile broadband experience in the near term with HSPA+ and a growing LTE footprint.”

The company said its LTE network should cover 70 million Americans by year’s end. AT&T talked a bit about its LTE plans back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but Wednesday’s comments are the most specific it has been so far.

“We’ve invested $75 billion in our wireless and wired networks over the last four years–more capital invested in the U.S. than any company in any industry,” Donovan said. “And we plan to invest $19 billion in our wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects this year. The investments we’ve made to evolve our mobile broadband network in recent years, plus what we have planned for the future, put our customers in position to benefit fully from a host of coming mobile broadband innovations.”

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