& 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
    Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
    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 Custom TV
    What WTTX Can Deliver

    2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei on Mobile Broadband

    2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

    2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


    The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
    LRTV Interviews
    Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

    2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


    Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

    2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
    LRTV Interviews
    MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

    2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


    Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
    LRTV Interviews
    MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

    2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


    5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
    LRTV Interviews
    Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

    2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


    Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
    LRTV Documentaries
    YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

    2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

    2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


    AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

    2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

    2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
    Upcoming Live Events
    March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
    June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
    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
    Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
    Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
    Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
    Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
    MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
    Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
    Animals with Phones
    No One Likes This Click Here
    Take a hint!
    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.