With just days before Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone, AT&T Thursday announced its 4G LTE network is expanding into nine new US markets. The carrier also said it expects to add 43 more markets for the high-speed network by the end of 2012.

Although Apple’s not talking ahead of the Sept. 12 media event, observers expect the Cupertino, Calif. company to introduce a new iPhone that supports the faster LTE networks. The new iPhone would join the latest iPad as two iOS devices compatible with LTE.

The nine US cities getting 4G LTE include Syracuse, NY, Northern New Jersey, Anchorage, Alaska, Bakersfield, Calif., Bridgeport, Conn., Jacksonville, Fla., Modesto, Calif., and Omaha, Neb., according to AppleInsider.

By the end of this year, the country’s second-largest mobile carrier said it will launch in 43 more markets, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Albany, NY. The company claims to have spent more than $115 billion in upgrading its mobile and wired networks during the past five years.

Some confusion surrounds AT&T’s use of “4G.” When the iPhone 4S arrived, the carrier labeled its HSDPA network “4G,” because it could provide speeds akin to the faster technology. New iPad owners that are AT&T subscribers can easily tell when they are connected to a “4G” network and a true 4G LTE net. While iPhone 4S handsets only display “4G” when connected, the latest tablet will display “LTE” or “4G.”

Despite Thursday announcement, one analyst recently gave Verizon the edge in the LTE horserace. Indeed, Jeffries & Co.’s analyst Thomas Seitz said the upcoming iPhone 5 could “change everything” for Verizon. He advised investors to hold onto AT&T stock and sell Sprint-Nextel.

For AT&T, an LTE iPhone comes at a bad time. According to Seitz, around 9 million AT&T subscribers could jump to Verizon, which has more LTE POPS than all other carriers combined. Although AT&T boasts its 4G network covers more than 275 million people, its true 4G LTE network now covers just over 74 million US citizens.

What do you think? Will you stick with AT&T when the new iPhone arrives next week?

  • specht057

    “$115 billion in upgrading its mobile and wired networks during the past five years.”

    Crazy.. I haven’t felt the results.

  • I’m playing the wait and see game.

  • the only reasons that I am with AT&T is b/c I am still grandfathered in on their unlimited plan which I pay an arm/leg for. If i can unlock my phone or the new iphone and get an unlimited plan with either Tmobile/sprint others I might make the move, but they have to atleast have 3g speeds, 4g would be nice, but not holding my breath, another concern will be their coverage/sister networks as I sometimes travel overseas for work, then again i could just get a throw away/simm/phone if I need to when i am abroad.

  • the plan is to jump to Verizon, but not just because of LTE. AT&T and VZW are pretty much equal in overcharging, but VZW gives an option between 1gb and 4gb where AT&T does not. with AT&T you go for 1gb or 4gb and neither is a viable option for me. 1 is too little and 4 is more than i’ve ever used and more than i’m willing to pay. VZW at least has a 2gb which works perfectly. these new share plans are god awful for those of us who only have 1 line on our account. i don’t use facetime, but AT&T mandating people give up their unlimited data for a shared plan in order to use it is BS. their service has gotten worse where i live. i used to get full bars in my town and now i get 1, maybe 2 if i’m really lucky. data speeds have slowed down in my area…and i live in a small rural area, not a big city. closest one is 25 miles away so that isn’t the cause.

    so you factor in:
    plan choices/cost
    coverage
    data speed
    LTE coverage
    facetime debacle

    that’s enough to push me out.

  • Yes ! My city was mentioned. Lol
    = )

  • Mark

    With all the games money hungry AT&T is playing, I’ve already told them that I’m switching

  • If I hadn’t already jumped ship to Verizon, I definitely would do so now.

  • Finally Philly before year end, I hope it reaches suburban areas too.

  • SoCoMagNuM

    I have 4G LTE coverage in my hometown with AT&T so i have no need to switch