AT&T reveals LTE Advanced plans

US operator AT&T will introduce LTE Advanced in 2013, according to AT&T Labs president and chief executive, Krish Prabhu. Prabhu made the revelation last week at the LTE North America conference, held in Dallas, Texas, the home city of the US carrier. However, no further details were announced by the company.

LTE Advanced is considered by technology purists to be true 4G, offering theoretical download speeds of up to 1GB/sec on the downlink, around ten times faster than first generation LTE’s peak speeds.

The early news could be seen as a move by AT&T to gain some ground on Verizon Wireless, which with its fast and extensive roll-out of LTE into 165 metropolitan areas is now closely associated with LTE. Verizon now accounts for 63 per cent of all LTE subscriptions worldwide, according to a recent Informa Telecoms & Media report.

AT&T’s LTE service, which launched in September is by contrast available in just nine markets today, with six more to be added by the end of the year.

Sprint has also announced that it will be launching LTE Advanced in the first half of 2013, despite that fact that its first generation LTE network has yet to launch. This is because it is dependent on the US government coming to an agreement with its network partner LightSquared over its spectrum frequencies which have been shown to interfere with GPS signals.

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