AT&T Shows off LTE Speeds Expected to Appear in iPhones Next Year

Stacey Higginbotham got a tour of AT&T’s Foundry space in Plano, Texas on Wednesday. Not only did the GigaOM author get to rub elbows with the carrier’s SVP of application and service infrastructure John Summers, she also got to witness their LTE in action.

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and has been a popular choice for 4th generation technology among wireless carriers. Verizon deployed their LTE service late last year, and other than a few hiccups, the service has been widely popular. So how will AT&T stack up?

The demo that Stacey saw reached download speeds of 28.87 Mbps and just over 10 Mbps on the upload side.  AT&T’s LTE technology is not set to roll out for quite some time, but the demo was described as a model of a “real-world situation.”

To me, a real-world situation would be thousands of data-hungry users trying to use the network at the same time, but I’m not sure how engineers would replicate that in a test environment.

The results were impressive however, especially compared to current Verizon LTE speeds which average between 5-12 Mbps. Those that remember Verizon’s initial LTE tests back in 2009 will recall similar speeds. It seems like AT&T is planning to maintain its reputation as the nation’s fastest wireless network.

While it is unlikely that we’ll see LTE in the next iPhone, rumors are already swirling that its successor will be toting the 4G technology. I must say the fast speeds are certainly enticing, especially if I had the ability to sling a 20+ Mbps connection to my MacBook via hotspot.

Are you excited about AT&T’s upcoming LTE Network? Do you currently use Verizon’s LTE service – what do you think?