AT&T's LTE network demoed; speeds higher than Verizon

While Verizon has been rolling out its faster LTE-based 4G wireless network for several months now (in fact it added nine new cities officially a couple of days ago) AT&T still working on expanding its own LTE wirless network. But if a new article at GigaOM is any indication AT&T's version of the network could be quite speedy indeed.

GigaOM got an exclusive demo of how AT&T's LTE network will work via a tour of the company's Foundry space in Plano, Texas. The web site asked for a demo of the network in action and according to the article, "The speeds provided on the download side were about 28.87 Mbps, and were about 10.4 Mbps on the upload side." That's obviously much faster than AT&T's current HSPA+ network. If the demo speeds are to be believed, it's also faster than Verizon's LTE network which it says gives its customers between 5  and 12 Mbps via download side and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps. That's supposed to be real world speeds, by the way, and not some theoretical speed. GigaOM said that "AT&T wanted to model real-world situations for the people coming into the Foundry space."

While the speeds may be impressive, for AT&T customers its all about the service and we will have to see when the LTE network goes live for real people whether both the speed and the reception matches the demo speeds. The LTE network is supposed to go live sometime in the middle of 2011.

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We will just have to wait for real world use. Watch how fast Verizon ups the speed on their 4GLTE service. It's nice that Verizon built a really good fiber backbone while AT&T laughed at them 4 years ago.

Matt said,
That's what I was thinking JZolloXP. Maybe they will increase their cap?

Caps are being put in place because many cell sites are still using copper for CLEC backhaul, and although people don't get it, it is for a more consistent experience for users. But don't fret: many are transitioning to OC1-OC3 fibre for backhaul when possible, but that's not cheap, and many other sites are bringing in terrestrial microwave hops to cope with bandwidth. So we'll see what happens over the next year or two.

daddy_spank said,
Anyone seen 5 - 12Mbit/sec "real world" speeds on Verizon???!! NOT me.

My speeds on my Samsung 4G Mobile Hotspot have been consistently in that range, if not higher, and I live in Houston. Verizon doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk.

dagamer34 said,

My speeds on my Samsung 4G Mobile Hotspot have been consistently in that range, if not higher, and I live in Houston. Verizon doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk.

I'm in Houston too and I get between 7 and 15 mbps. In Vegas, I saw around 8 mbps.

daddy_spank said,
Anyone seen 5 - 12Mbit/sec "real world" speeds on Verizon???!! NOT me.
I have a friend over here in Cali, LA to be more precise, and he gets 20+ Mb/s down and 17+ up, consistently, on VZW's LTE... with an unlimited data plan at that, and he's been told by VZW reps that since the LTE network is still in roll-out phase and not formally commissioned his plan will be grandfathered in and thus won't be subject to caps unless he modifies his plan.

But, on the other hand, AT&T is still expanding UMTS in many markets across the USA, adding 3C and 4C (third and fourth carrier) for capacity, while VZW has begun mining CDMA/EVDO to prepare for a full network switch to LTE within a few years. And the nice thing about LTE is that it's generally just a firmware update to support higher speeds since the LTE standards are still not completely finalized. Thus, when AT&T starts bumping up their speeds, VZW can do so as well. So, be prepared for your iPhones to be obsolete within the next two years or so.

*disclosure- I work for a company that installs equipment for T-Mobile, AT&T, VZW and ClearWire. Ericsson is taking over network management for all of those carriers over the next year or so and all will be implementing similar LTE standards and upgrading as necessary.

Edited by abecedarian paradoxious, May 21 2011, 4:50pm :

check the title of the article- speeds higher "that" verizon. but yeah att needs to do something to keep its dieing customer base

it's about time they are catching up... but their customer service still sucks, so they could have 10x the speed and i'd never go back... it's a cellphone, it's not like i'm going to download 5gig files!

Type in the title of the article "...speeds higher that Verizon" think it should be "than."
Anyway if AT&T has the funds to get speeds higher than verzion then why do they claim to need T-Mobile so much to compete with the other companies?

Biglo said,
Type in the title of the article "...speeds higher that Verizon" think it should be "than."
Anyway if AT&T has the funds to get speeds higher than verzion then why do they claim to need T-Mobile so much to compete with the other companies?

T-Mobile has more LTE sites in place than AT&T, at least in Cali. So consider that a built in infrastructure.
What will be interesting to learn is what AT&T will do with towers in close proximity to each other where T-Mobile and AT&T both have a footprint. Whose sites will be decommissioned / transfered to another carrier, and which carrier? A similar thing happened when Cingular and AT&T merged- many facilities were transfered to T-Mobile, VZW and Sprint/NexTel.
Considering Ericsson is taking over BTS/Node B management for almost every carrier, this will be interesting.

GUNNER said,
Still it's At&t they will figure a way to rip off customers LOL

They've done it before: selling the iPhone.
Zeeeeeeouchhhh!

But it is still AT&T. In my area that is the equivalent of having a PackardBell PC to run your business on. It looks like a real device but in reality is a piece of crap.

ozyborn said,
But it is still AT&T. In my area that is the equivalent of having a PackardBell PC to run your business on. It looks like a real device but in reality is a piece of crap.

Well sucks I guess, at my friend's house, Verizon sucks, T-Mobile is not available (no signal) and Sprint is kinda ok. AT&T on the other hand is great. Not that i love AT&T but it's just shows that no network is perfect.

I use AT&T's network and it's great for me everywhere. This will force Verizon to kick up their LTE speeds and then it'll be on!!

SHoTTa35 said,

Well sucks I guess, at my friend's house, Verizon sucks, T-Mobile is not available (no signal) and Sprint is kinda ok. AT&T on the other hand is great. Not that i love AT&T but it's just shows that no network is perfect.

I use AT&T's network and it's great for me everywhere. This will force Verizon to kick up their LTE speeds and then it'll be on!!

AT&T has really stepped their game up in my area as well. When I first switched to them 2 years ago they had spotty 3g coverage, I would only get edge in some parts of town. Now I get solid 3-5 bars just about everywhere. I've even been impressed with more rural area coverage being more or less the same as my Verizon friends.

SHoTTa35 said,

Well sucks I guess, at my friend's house, Verizon sucks, T-Mobile is not available (no signal) and Sprint is kinda ok. AT&T on the other hand is great. Not that i love AT&T but it's just shows that no network is perfect.

I use AT&T's network and it's great for me everywhere. This will force Verizon to kick up their LTE speeds and then it'll be on!!


Tmobile is always available if you have wifi

ozyborn said,
But it is still AT&T. In my area that is the equivalent of having a PackardBell PC to run your business on. It looks like a real device but in reality is a piece of crap.

OMG. Best analogy ever. I gotta use that one next time I describe AT&T to someone.

UndergroundWire said,

OMG. Best analogy ever. I gotta use that one next time I describe AT&T to someone.

LOL - yeah unless you are talking to someone in another country (other than USA). They left here but they kinda kick ass in Germany I hear and Europe in general.