By: Jonathan Charnitski & Rahul Gaitonde
WASHINGTON May 25, 2011 – AT&T announced Wednesday that it will upgrade its HPSA+ network to Long Term Evolution (LTE) in five major markets starting this summer, representing the company’s first steps into adopting the standard on its nationwide network.
LTE networks represent upgraded technology from HSPA+ networks, allowing increases in speed capabilities.
The announcement came from AT&T’s chief technology officer, John Donovan, on the company’s blog, Innovation Space. Donovan noted that LTE will come to Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio as well as an additional 10 markets by the end of 2011. AT&T anticipates the entire LTE network will cover 70 million people.
AT&T has rushed to keep up with competitor, Verizon, after the latter announced its launch of LTE networks in 38 U.S. metropolitan areas last December. Currently, the service is available in 55 metropolitan areas on Verizon’s network. Regional mobile provider MetroPCS launched its LTE network last September and has already expanded its network to include 14 metropolitan areas.
Additionally, with the adoption of LTE as the standard for U.S. public safety networks and many foreign nations, LTE technology is quickly becoming a preferred choice globally for fourth-generation mobile deployment.
“We’ve invested $75 billion in our wireless and wired networks over the last four years,” wrote Donovan in the blog post. “And we plan to invest $19 billion in our wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects this year.”