& 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
    Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    Amazon & Other 'Big 4' Cloud Providers Crushing Competitors
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/29/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.