AT&T has announced its plans to launch LTE-Advanced network technology in 2013, speeding up the race for high-speed connectivity.
Krish Prabhu, president and CEO of AT&T Labs, made the statement while speaking at the LTE North America conference in Dallas. A spokeswoman for the carrier later confirmed the announcement, though would not elaborate further on details regarding LTE-Advanced deployment.
Considered a significant upgrade of LTE, LTE-Advanced will allow operators to improve in capacity and coverage by taking advantage of advanced topology networks. The fast-paced service has the potential to reach 1Gbps peak rates with 8×8 MIMO and will use both the FDD and TDD spectrum.
This is the first time AT&T has provided some type of timeframe for its LTE-Advanced plan, following news from October when Sprint Nextel confirmed its plans to deploy LTE-Advanced on its 800MHz spectrum by the first half of 2013. AT&T?s biggest rival, Verizon Wireless, also has plans for an LTE-Advanced rollout. While the Big Red?s deployment of the high-speed service lacks a steadfast date, the carrier announced back in September that we won?t see any wide scale consumption for at least the next few years, though Verizon promised it was currently adopting the technology.
While AT&T talks about future plans, the carrier recently launched its LTE service in Athens, Boston, Washington,D.C. and Baltimore. Additionally, the carrier rolled out its first batch of LTE-enabled smartphones, the HTC Vivid and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. The company has said it plans to spread its LTE network to cover 15 markets by year-end.