AT&T unveils first LTE terminal devices

AT&T, the US network operator, has revealed the first devices that will be available for its forthcoming LTE network; a USB dongle and a mobile hotspot device.

The USB dongle is called the USBConnect Momentum 4G and will offer plug and play installation of the AT&T Communication Manager software, and will also provide access to the operator’s wifi network.

The mobile hotspot device – the Elevate 4G – enables up to five devices to connect to it at once via wifi, which is then backhauled over the LTE network.

Both devices offer expandable memory slots.

AT&T will begin selling the devices once it has launched its 700MHz LTE network and each device will drop to HSPA+ when out of 4G coverage area, as well as HSPA, UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS. The USBConnect Momentum 4G will cost $49.99 on a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in-rebate, while the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will be available for $69.99 with a 2-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. The company has yet to reveal the cost of its LTE data plans however, and no LTE enabled smartphone handsets were announced.

An exact launch date for the AT&T LTE network has not been revealed, although switch on is due  “this summer” in five markets – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. It is marketing the network as “4G LTE” having already promoted its HSPA+ service as 4G.

Rival Verizon Wireless launched its LTE network in December 2010 and offers three compatible smartphone handsets from LG, Samsung and HTC. Verizon today opened an LTE Innovation Center (LTE IC) designed to develop and demonstrate LTE enabled products for its partners and customers.

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