By Stephen Schenck | January 5, 2011 3:39 PM
AT&T has revealed its plans for growing its 4G network, with a new focus on LTE deployment. The company wants LTE up-and-running this year, with continued expansion through 2013.
When it comes to next-gen wireless data, there are plenty of strongly-held opinions over what is and isn’t “real” 4G, so it’s comforting to see that AT&T is covering its bases with the deployment of both HSPA+ and LTE systems. AT&T started upgrading its HSPA network to HSPA+ last year, giving the company some breathing room while it works on LTE. By now, AT&T claims that those upgrades reach nearly its entire 3G network. The only thing keeping back higher speeds, according to the company, is a lack of broadband wiring to its cell towers, but it claims to be working on fixing that.
While some LTE infrastructure is apparently already in place, today’s announcements marks a redoubling of efforts to get the system set up this year. AT&T hasn’t promised a set launch date for the network, but says it will be active sometime this summer. The company may already be thinking about LTE phones, as we learned about a 4G iPhone in the works. Considering that one won’t be available until 2012, it would make a prime candidate to take advantage of the new LTE network.