The skinny, Android-based Galaxy 8.9 -- AT&T's second LTE tablet -- will cost $479 with a two-year contract. To sweeten the deal, AT&T is offering, until Jan. 7, a free Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket or Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone with the device. Why this matters This means AT&T will make its target of deploying LTE in 15 markets in 2011. The operator says it hopes to cover 70 million people with LTE by year's end.
AT&T's LTE is, or will be, available in Athens, Ga.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Oklahoma City; San Antonio, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Washington, D.C. come Sunday.
AT&T's LTE footprint is much smaller than Verizon Wireless 's 4G service, which will be in 178 towns and cities by Nov. 17. AT&T, of course, notes that it offers High-Speed Packet Access-Plus (HSPA+) service as a fallback that offers "4G speeds" in areas supported with "enhanced backhaul."
Expect to see more competition on smartphones, tablets and data pricing as service providers look to figure out what LTE's niche is in the U.S. in 2012.
See more Read up on AT&T's LTE deployment:
- AT&T Readies Its First LTE Phones
- AT&T's First LTE Tab Is for Big Spenders
- AT&T LTE Test-Drive Results Revealed
- AT&T LTE Launch Set for Sunday
- AT&T/T-Mobile: Nationwide LTE Within 6 Years
- AT&T Offers $700 HTC LTE Tablet
- LiTE Bites: LightSquared's 12 & AT&T in Chicago
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile