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AT&T Adds 12 LTE Cities as 4G Goes Global

The GSA says that 251 LTE networks have been launched around the world, with nearly half going live in 2013.

Sarah Thomas

December 18, 2013

2 Min Read
AT&T Adds 12 LTE Cities as 4G Goes Global

AT&T's LTE deployment is well ahead of its schedule as the operator adds another 18 markets Wednesday, bringing its total people covered to 250 million.

The carrier now expects to cover nearly 270 million Americans with LTE by the end of the year and 300 million by the end of next year, although that may happen sooner rather than later given its current rollout pace. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) says its LTE network will be substantially completed by the summer of 2014.

New markets launched today include: Durango, Co.; Elmira, NY; Appleton, Fond du Lac, and Oshkosh, WI.; Kaui, HI; Poplar Bluff and Sikeston, Mo.; Pottsville, PA.; Terre Haute, IN.; and Burley and Twin Falls, ID. The carrier now covers 488 markets with LTE, exceeding its original target of 400, and up from only 135 markets covered this time last year.

According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) 's latest numbers, also announced Wednesday, 251 LTE networks in 93 countries are now commercially launched. In the past year alone, LTE was launched in 29 new countries, representing 45% growth for the 4G technology. The GSA says China is the newest market, following China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL)'s commercial launch of its LTE TDD network. (See: APAC Fuels 4G Action.)

Figure 1:

Why this matters
2013 was clearly the year of LTE for most mobile operators. The GSA says that nearly half of the global total of LTE networks in service will have been launched in this year alone. Next year, the competition will move from focusing on coverage to how fast the network is through LTE-Advanced and network upgrades, where it can roam to, and what features it has, including HD Voice and VoLTE. From an infrastructure perspective, the operators will be focused on building out their LTE networks with small cells and carrier WiFi.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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