After several months of talking about it, AT&T finally seems ready to put up or shut up. On Sunday, the carrier plans on lighting up its new 4G LTE service in 5 major U.S. cities. The news does come with several asterisks though.

One, it’s about a year late to the party. Verizon’s had a live LTE network since last December. Two, the launch is tiny compared to Verizon’s 39-city rollout. And three, there’s not even a compatible smartphone available (yet)…

Nevertheless, AT&T’s Chief Financial Officer told investors at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference yesterday that its LTE network is ready for action. The carrier will initially activate service in 5 markets, hoping to hit 15 by the end of the year.

The 5 cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. BGR has seen speeds of up to 22Mbps per second on the new network, but the numbers don’t reflect real world settings with millions of users fighting for bandwidth.

Of course, the question on our minds is whether or not Apple’s upcoming iPhone will be LTE-capable. I’ve got a bad feeling it’s not going to be, but Apple could surprise us. AT&T has said that they hope to have a 4G smartphone by year’s end.

What’s your take on AT&T’s rollout? Too little too late?

[FierceWireless]

  • Meager rollout, but I’ll take it; it’s better than nothing. These things take time. Look at 3G? It’s as common as the cold now, but I remember when it was first being rolled out, it seemed to take forever to appear everywhere.

    • iPwn

      Except if your a Verizon customer. 4G is spreading like wildfire right now 🙂

    • +1 to Jeff….

      I’d also like to add, WTF, why didn’t they roll out in a “real” market like the Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York!!!

      Okay, before you answer – yes, I know, because they don’t want to go too big and fall flat on their faces!

      But, considering even our local MetroPCS has 4G – and even worse yet, SPRINT (hahaha) has 4G and they are in the Silicon Valley….. I’m just asking the question!

      Furthermore, wouldn’t it be sweet if Apple did suprise us all with a 4G LTE iPhone 5???? How sweet that would be. But, don’t bank on it. That will be the reason to sell another 100 Million phones next year! Keep up those Quarterly Earnings Apple, keep ’em up!

      – Eric

  • Andrew

    Can someone confirm… Bandwidth is not the only measure for how fast internet will feel on your phone, right? Isn’t ping relevant? I mean, there is a difference between a solid 1Mbps on your home wifi network 1Mbps on 3G isn’t there? 1Mbps is still pretty good speed, what gets my goat is when it seems to take anywhere from 3 to 20 seconds before it transfers the first byte of information. Then, it’s pretty fast from that point. What is happening in that first period of time? Will it be reduced with the LTE network? I’ve never noticed this problem on any internet connection I’ve had at home, even when it was 56k dialup.

    In other words, if the bulk of the time is waiting for data to even be transferred, it won’t matter what bandwidth it sustains when it’s finally getting data, it’s not going to improve the overall experience *that* much.

    Can anyone shed more light on this ?

    • iPwn

      LTE ping is generally low. Verizon’s LTE ping is a lot lower than my Comcast home connection. Speeds where I live are faster than Comcast to I get 35 MBPs down and 6 MBPs up

      • Dane

        No, you don’t.

      • iPwn

        Dane, I live outside of Portland, OR. Speeds are on average 30-40 MBPs if you go into downtown Portland, specifically Pearl District, you will get 40-50 MBPs easily. I know Portland is a newer 4G market the speeds may decrease but they haven’t since Verizon flipped the switch.

  • They wanted to start in a state that counts. So they picked TEXAS!

    • Tertal

      Or because there corporate office is in Dallas…