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AT&T Turns Up 11 More LTE Markets

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) turned up its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in 11 new markets over the holidays, bringing its total to 26 markets covering 74 million people at the end of 2011.

The latest launch includes big cities like New York, San Francisco and LA, as well as Austin, Chapel Hill, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego and San Jose. (See AT&T Boasts Smartphone Sales, LTE in NYC.)

Speaking at a Citigroup conference Thursday, John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, called 2011 the best year he's ever seen from an infrastructure perspective for AT&T. The additional markets means the wireless operator beat its goal of covering 70 million consumers in 15 markets by the end of 2011. (See LTE: Solidity & Uncertainity in 2012 and AT&T Hits 15 LTE Markets, Adds Another Tablet.)

AT&T also closed the year with more than 80 percent of its total mobile traffic on Ethernet backhaul, and Stankey said its 3G network performance has stabilized. Now, the wireless operator is focusing on turning customers' perceptions from neutral to positive, he said.

"We're on that path," Stankey added, noting that there was less than 1 percent dropped calls in all markets at the end of the year, although there are some geographic blackspots that still need work.

Of course, 2011 wasn't all sunshine for the operator, which was forced to abandon its acquisition bid for T-Mobile US Inc. , costing it billions in cash and spectrum. Stankey said AT&T execs have no regrets about their decision to pursue the merger and reiterated that it's unfortunate they didn't get it done. (See AT&T Drops Bid to Acquire T-Mobile.)

"Will keep doing what we did before," he said. "We'll step back and look for opportunities to change the industry ... move forward and grow. There's still a lot of runway."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:46:36 PM
re: AT&T Turns Up 11 More LTE Markets

While it's encouraging to hear that AT&T has stepped up the pace of its LTE rollouts, I am still skeptical that their 3G network has improved significantly. Until AT&T gives out some hard-number specifics and exact locations of improved backhaul, new towers, it's the execs word vs. the still-existing public perception that AT&T iPhones drop calls. And it's not going to get better with another 6 million phones joining the network.


Should be interesting to see if we get more "color" as they say at the AT&T developer confab on Monday. It's nice to claim 11 new markets but what is the coverage/performance in each market? How big are the channels? All questions that don't get asked at financial meetings, but need to be answered to get a full grasp of what T is really serving up.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 5:46:36 PM
re: AT&T Turns Up 11 More LTE Markets

While it's encouraging to hear that AT&T has stepped up the pace of its LTE rollouts, I am still skeptical that their 3G network has improved significantly. Until AT&T gives out some hard-number specifics and exact locations of improved backhaul, new towers, it's the execs word vs. the still-existing public perception that AT&T iPhones drop calls. And it's not going to get better with another 6 million phones joining the network.


Should be interesting to see if we get more "color" as they say at the AT&T developer confab on Monday. It's nice to claim 11 new markets but what is the coverage/performance in each market? How big are the channels? All questions that don't get asked at financial meetings, but need to be answered to get a full grasp of what T is really serving up.

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:46:33 PM
re: AT&T Turns Up 11 More LTE Markets

This is what ATT is really saying:  We are now advertising LTE in 11 more markets just to see how many poor chumps will buy our LTE phones and based on the sale of those phone and their data usage we will determine whether it is worth it to upgrade our networks in those markets.


 

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