AT&T now planning widespread deployment of HSPA+; LTE timeframe stays the same

AT&T announced that it now plans to roll out HSPA+ to more than 250 million potential subscribers by 2010. The move is a reversal of the plans it announced last September--that it had no intention of deploying HSPA+ but rather would accelerate its LTE plans.

Then in March, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told FierceWireless that the company would deploy HSPA+ in certain locations, presumably those hit hardest by data traffic. The operator has already deployed HSPA 7.2 across the country but not all markets have the required backhaul in place to achieve those speeds.

AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey announced plans for HSPA+ at a Reuters event. Meanwhile, the operator is keeping previously announced plans to begin deploying LTE in 2011.

ABI Research analyst Phil Solis said AT&T's plan to stick with its current LTE timeline "demonstrates that they do not feel the LTE ecosystem is ready at this point. AT&T will have two trial cities by  the end of 2010, and launch LTE in a portion of its network at the end of 2011--a schedule that seems a full year behind what Verizon Wireless is doing."

Verizon plans to roll out LTE technology in 25 to 30 markets in the fourth quarter.

For more:
- see this Apple Insider article

Related articles:
AT&T: 3G network plan no longer includes HSPA+
AT&T continues to follow Verizon's LTE footsteps
AT&T chooses Ericsson, AlcaLu for LTE 
Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson win Verizon LTE deal    
AT&T upgrades cell sites to HSPA 7.2 software

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