AT&T Gears Up for Summer of LTE

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is adding two Long Term Evolution (LTE) data gizmos to its lineup of devices ahead of a 4G launch in five cities later this summer.

The operator is adding the USBConnect Momentum 4G, a modem that can default to 21Mbit/s High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) when users roam out of LTE markets, to its 4G lineup. Also new is the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, which can link up to five Wi-Fi-capable devices to an LTE signal.

These two gadgets aren't the first LTE-focused devices from the operator: AT&T first introduced a 3G data modem upgradable to LTE back in October 2010. (See AT&T Unveils LTE & HSPA+ USB Modems.) AT&T will begin selling the Momentum 4G card for $49.99 with a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. The mobile hot spot will be available for $69.99 with a contract and after -- you guessed it! -- a $50 mail-in rebate. AT&T expects both devices, which are made by Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW), to be available online and in retail stores this summer.

The first five LTE markets from AT&T will go live this summer as well. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will be the first cities to be switched on. The operator expects the 4G technology to be available in 15 markets by the end of the year.

Why this matters
AT&T is playing catchup with major rival Verizon Wireless on LTE deployment and devices. Verizon plans to cover more than 185 million potential subscribers in 175 towns and cities in the U.S. with its LTE deployment by the end of the year. (See Verizon Speeds Up LTE Expansion .)

For more
Read more about AT&T's path to LTE:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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