AT&T Inc. "will begin firing up" LTE-Advanced networks in the second half of 2013 as it tries to move more wireline customers to 4G wireless instead, according to a report Monday from Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR).
LTE-Advanced is based on release 10 of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specification, and it is aiming for maximum download rates of 3Gbit/s and uploads of 1.5Gbit/s. These speeds are bound to be lower, however, when deployed on real networks outside of the lab.
AT&T currently has 109 markets up using the older LTE specification. It is hoping to cover 300 million potential users with LTE by the end of 2014 via its $14 billion Project Velocity IP plans.
In the report, TBR analysts Ken Hyers and Eric Costa note that 4G technology will help underpin new initiatives from AT&T, such as its Mobile Premise wireline replacement scheme, Digital Life home automation plans, Connected Car scheme and its involvement with the ISIS mobile payments project.
For Mobile Premise, AT&T will offer a $9.99 a month service that lets customers port their wireline numbers to a device that forwards calls directly to their cellphones and to in-home wired phones.
"As customers continue to give up wireline numbers for wireless, AT&T responds by developing a solution that will cannibalize its own wired network, rather than having other operators take their customers," the analysts write.
AT&T petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) early in November to update its rules so that wired or wireless IP systems can be considered as a replacement for the traditional copper phone-line system.
â€” Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile