AT&T announces first LTE supported devices

AT&T has been promising the launch of its LTE-based 4G network for some time now. Today the company got closer to that wireless network launch with the announcement of the first two devices that will be compatible with the faster network. The LTE technology that AT&T is using is supposed to be the same as Verizon's growing 4G network although AT&T claims its version will be even faster.

The first device announced is the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G (shown above). The hotspot product will allow up to five other products like smartphones, laptops and tablets to log in via WiFi connections so they can use the LTE wireless network. The hotspot will have an LCD screen that will show things like battery and signal strength, data usage and more. The price of the hotspot will be $69.99 with a $50 mail in rebate.

For those folks who don't want to share their LTE connection with anyone, AT&T will also sell the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G. The USB device will allow owners of laptops to connect to the LTE network. It will also allow the use to connect to AT&T's many WiFi hot spots for free. It will be priced at $49.99 with a $50 mail in rebate.

The LTE network is still supposed to launch sometime later this summer in a small amount of US cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. At least 15 cities and metro areas will have LTE support from AT&T by the end of the year. However it will still be far behind Verizon's LTE network which has already launched in over 100 cities.

Image via AT&T

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7 Comments

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At&t has gotten horrible signal wise. In the city of Atlanta including downtown, my phone barely gets 2 bars now. I was shocked to realize when I drove outside 285 that I was able to get 4 to 5 bars. If they don't do something about their signal coverage, I will be switching soon.

I'm still a subscriber to their iPhone unlimited package, but with the poor customer service in response to tethering charges, I do not like AT&T at all anymore. I will screw them any change i can.

no-sweat said,
4G and "LTE-based 4G" are the exact same, right?

Nope, - for T-Mobile and AT&T "4G" was simply HSPA+ (21-42Mbps/14-21Mbps respectively).

LTE on the other hand is actually "real" LTE is another network being built. It's not just upgrades from UMTS (3G) to HSDPA/HSUPA to HSPA+ as before. This is why they are lauching now in just 5 areas as that's all they've managed to build so far.

SHoTTa35 said,
...

True, but not exactly right.
My service provider chose a hardware provider that offered an upgrade path from UMTS/HSPA+ to LTE. It is not a new network build, but an upgrade to existing components.

LTE is the inbuilt upgrade path from UMTS, there is no other choice. It's still a new network though as it also IP based instead of Switched as well as different radio frequencies. LTE (in USA) operates on 700mhz rather than 850/1900 so that requires other antennas as well as connections. If it was only just a component swap it wouldn't take them that long to "build" the network. Even Verizon with it's 1yr head start "only" has 100+ markets by now. So yes it's an upgrade but it's still a new network, just like GSM to UMTS was a "new" network.

I assumed there were already phones out that were using ATT 4G since they advertise it a lot. T-Mobile and Sprint has had them beat for a long time!