& cplSiteName &

AT&T Moves Again in the Summer of LTE

Dan Jones
8/14/2013
50%
50%

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is once again adding markets to its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network as it rushes to add new 4G towns and cities this summer.

AT&T went live with the faster wireless data network in six new towns and cities on Wednesday. LTE technology uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) as the basis for the wireless speed boost. (See What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)

Here are the new markets:

  • Rockford, IL
  • Fairmont, MN
  • Owatonna, MN
  • Rochester, MN
  • Williston, ND
  • Youngstown-Warren, OH

Here's how AT&T stands in relation to the other major operators in the US with LTE deployments:

Table 1: 4G LTE Markets in the US

Operator 4G technology Number of markets Average download speeds
AT&T LTE (Also markets HSPA+ as “4G”) 365 Average of 18.6 Mbit/s downloads
Cricket (Leap Wireless) LTE 11 3-to-15 times faster than Leap's 3G
C-Spire LTE 40 markets up; 3 more coming soon Data speeds up to 10 times faster
MetroPCS LTE 30 markets 2 Mbit/s-15 Mbit/s (Depending on market)
Sprint LTE & WiMax 151 LTE; 71 WiMax Average of 10.3 Mbit/s download
T-Mobile LTE (Also markets HSPA+ as “4G”) 116 markets                                           Average of 25 Mbit/s downloads (on unloaded network)
U.S. Cellular LTE 30+ markets Up to 10 times faster than 3G
Verizon Wireless LTE 500 markets 14.3 Mbit/s average download
Sources: Light Reading, RootMetrics, OpenSignal, carrier data

Why this matters
AT&T is racing to catch its rival Verizon Wireless , which has now covered its 3G footprint with its 4G LTE network. As regards Verizon's larger footprint, AT&T cites crowdsourced network performance monitoring from RootMetrics and other reports to claim that its LTE network is the fastest and most reliable. (See AT&T Claims Most Reliable 4G LTE Network.)

For more

  • Lucky 13: AT&T Adds More 4G LTE
  • AT&T's 4G LTE Summer Splurge
  • 4G LTE: AT&T Wins on Speed, Verizon on Size

    — Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

    (13)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    Infostack
    50%
    50%
    Infostack,
    User Rank: Moderator
    8/16/2013 | 4:10:30 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    One of the main, if not primary, reasons we didn't have pervasive 3G digital coverage was the flat rate, all-you-can-eat (ayce) plans that developed in the late 1990s and that were extended to data in the 2004-05 timeframe and were in place until 2 years ago.  In the 2000s there was no way to clear or monetize urban/suburban demand as it transited through rural markets.  So anywhere from 50-70% of the traffic couldn't be monetized to justify the expenditure as rural subscribers alone do not (at least for the first few years of any buildout) justify the expense.

    Data caps and usage based pricing will reverse this trend as urban/suburban demand can be monetized in rural markets.  That said, the entire service provider rural business model is woefully inefficient by avoiding of sharing of facilities and sites.  Each carrier (mainly ATT and VZW) feels having a network/facilities advantage gives it a competitive advantage; the customer be damned.  Note, no one is questioning how Sprint or T-Mobile will monetize rural demand with their AYCE plans.  Even if they try to align with smaller 700mhz carriers, their pricing makes urban/suburban users pure "cost" when they roam into rural markets.
    Gabriel Brown
    50%
    50%
    Gabriel Brown,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/16/2013 | 7:04:02 AM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    KBode -- sounds similar to the UK. Once you get of London (or any city or town), 3G coverage virtually dissappears.
    Gabriel Brown
    50%
    50%
    Gabriel Brown,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/16/2013 | 7:02:43 AM
    Re: LTE future for large venues
    rwilliams27501 -- the operator would deploy a stadium-specific solution.
    Gabriel Brown
    50%
    50%
    Gabriel Brown,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/16/2013 | 7:01:37 AM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    Milan03 -- that's good insight into how well it works for customers. Interesting it has happened so soon.

    Now its busy, adding AWS will make it better. That was kind of my point below. Once the network gets busy, the operator deploys more capacity. In general, over time, service gets better and better.
    milan03
    100%
    0%
    milan03,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/15/2013 | 6:23:05 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    That's on point. Just look at Verizon's LTE performance in NYC. Up until the iPhone 5 launch their peak and average LTE rates were absolutely stellar, and now in crowded areas of NYC, the LTE layer simply stalls, or times out. I'm noticing RRH added to Verizon's existing macros, indicating final testing stages for their AWS LTE rollout which should add an additional 2x20Mhz physical layer. They're holding 40Mhz of greenfield AWS in NYC, A+B licenses. 

    AT&T's LTE is still not nearly as loaded here, but it's starting to noticeably slow down, and W-CDMA is still suffering from dropped calls syndrome, just to a much lower extent. Unlike Verizon, AT&T has absolutely no available spectrum to deploy once their LTE starts halting, unless they start shutting down their existing HSPA channels in order to refarm CLR and PCS for LTE use, which will open a whole other level of issues.
    DanJones
    100%
    0%
    DanJones,
    User Rank: Blogger
    8/15/2013 | 3:35:05 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    Softbank seems pretty focused on deploying 2.5-2.6GHz, which tends to suggest fatter pipes for city-dwellers not some kind of rural panacea. At least given my experience of how well WiMax performs, maybe LTE TDD ups its game considerably.
    rwilliams27501
    50%
    50%
    rwilliams27501,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    8/15/2013 | 3:05:06 PM
    LTE future for large venues
    so LTE would be an issue in a large venue format, like a stadium, since its likely that all 60,000 fans would have to share the capacity. right now, only LTE phones, but eventually, will it be enough?
    KBode
    100%
    0%
    KBode,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/15/2013 | 1:42:28 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    Even AT&T and Verizon, by far the coverage leaders, continue to have serious issues in urban areas. You can easily head just 30 minutes north of New York City and find countless examples of large coverage gaps right on major highways where you're either getting 1x -- or absolutely nothing. Recently switched from AT&T to Verizon thinking things on that front would be better, and have found that Verizon's coverage is actually a little worse in many of these areas.

    I tether for writing constantly, spent more than a month traveling in eight states last summer (including a long stint in Navajo territory), and coverage was unsurprisingly even worse.

    It's slowly getting better, but with the industry leaders still having these kinds of problems, I can't imagine what the real world coverage experience on both Sprint and T-Mobile is when traveling. 

    Very curious to see what added wrinkles SoftBank adds to the Sprint mix.
    DanJones
    50%
    50%
    DanJones,
    User Rank: Blogger
    8/15/2013 | 1:21:28 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    Average speeds keep getting faster. That's no good to you if you're stuck on a congested city cell.
    Gabriel Brown
    50%
    50%
    Gabriel Brown,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    8/15/2013 | 1:07:19 PM
    Re: AT&T's clearly turning a corner
    Just build more network, no?

    The idea that as more people use the network, the slower it will get, is well entrenched. But actually, observably, end-user speeds keep on climbing.

    You get the odd blip (like the iPhone arriving) but that stimulates network investment.
    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    From The Founder
    Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

    6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


    Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

    6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


    Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
    LRTV Custom TV
    SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

    6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

    6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


    At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Putting Power on a Pedestal

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

    6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


    IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

    6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


    Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

    6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


    Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

    6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

    6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
    Upcoming Live Events
    October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
    Hot Topics
    Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
    No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
    Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
    BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
    Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
    One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.