Anand and I rushed from the LG press conference over to AT&T's, where CEO Ralph de la Vega has just announced the carrier's LTE plans for the future. Some 20 LTE devices, including tablets, modems, smartphones, and hotspots are coming throughout 2011.

First up, AT&T has completed its HSPA+ deployment in the US, and will continue to expand backhaul - roughly 2/3rds of traffic is already being transacted over expanded backhaul, with speeds of 6 megabits/s being possible.

I've seen speeds around 6 or 7 megabits/s in the best coverage areas on AT&T without touching an HSPA+ baseband, so it's likely that once more AT&T-band-compatible HSPA+ devices come we'll see even faster speeds. AT&T's LTE deployment will be completed by 2013.

It appears that AT&T is also taking a nod from T-Mobile and calling HSPA+ "4G" as well. 

Newly christened Motorola mobility is launching the Motorola Atrix 4G, which it claims is the world's most powerful smartphone. More on that in Anand's article.

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  • Hrel - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    And it will still cost around 150 bucks a month! ATT Verizon really need to take a nod from Sprint and offer a 70/month or less plan that includes unlimited night/weekend minutes, unlmtd texting, data usage and gps. Then like 400-600 minutes a month or something. Then they all have free mobile to mobile and free long distance so that parts ok. Let's be honest people, most people don't use very many minutes. Texting using so little bandwidth it's basically null. And charging 30-50/month for data usage then LIMITING how much data you can use AND charging extra for tethering is asinine.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    After hearing so much about Sprints cheap service I checked their website this morning. It appears the cheapest family plan with unlimited Data has 1500 minutes and costs $129.99+taxes per month. We currently use less than 500 minutes a month and spend ~$135 a month on Verizon. They might have good deals for individual lines, family not so much.
  • j.harper12 - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Their employee plan is widely available, one of their VPs actually posted his e-mail and pin in a blog so people could sign up for it. So, let me ask you, how many lines does that $135 cover? Does it include 1,600 minutes with unlimited mobile to mobile so it's impossible to use it all, unlimited texting, data, tv, navigation, Blackberry Internet Service, and anything else offered by the carrier? Because I have five lines, with all of that stuff, and I pay $172 with Sprint. Not only that, but ANYONE can replicate that exact same deal today signing up online with never talking to a CS rep. Just type "Sprint EPRP" in Google, hit up slickdeals or fatwallet, and start saving. The base plan starts at $109 and includes two lines. Obviously you just didn't spend any time whatsoever looking for a good value from Sprint. EPRP is hardly a secret, as I said, a VP at the company actually wrote a post encouraging everyone to sign up. Sprint has the best family plans for data/texting/navigating users hands down.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, January 6, 2011 - link

    Need 3 lines, 2 with data, and 500 minutes would be plenty. So sounds like that sprint plan might come in at a similar price to what we pay now, and given how many holes the network has in places I visit regularly that isn't gonna do it for me. If we could save $30+ a month I might consider it OK to not have service in places I spend my weekends or at my in-laws house, but for about the same cost there is no beating Verizon's network around here.
  • ant1pathy - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    That $150 pricetag is old; it's $120 if you need unlimited calling along with unlimited data and text (yes, there are still ways to get unlimited data if you're clever). 450 minutes drops that total by $30, and 900 with A-List (5 numbers for free calling that aren't AT&T) is $110. Combine that with Sprint's required $10 4G bolton, and all of the sudden you're only at a $10 monthly difference if you can get by with the 450 minute plan.
  • j.harper12 - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    Sprint doesn't have a required $10 4G bolt-on. They require a "premium data" fee if you have select smartphones. It's cheaper per gb for them to offer up data over 4G (which is will now refer to as WiMax, because 4G doesn't exist yet), they charge the extra fee because they expect users of the Evo to use tons of data over 3g. Also, a few more things, like I said above, you save $10 more using EPRP, so why do you want to spend an extra $240 a year to be with AT&T. Second, Sprint was first to the table with "4G like" technology for a long long time, basically, without competition they haven't had competitive benchmarks. Do you really think that $10 fee is going to stick around if Verizon and AT&T aren't going to charge extra for LTE? EVEN more insane... do you really think AT&T and Verizon aren't going to charge extra for LTE? I don't care what you've heard so far, Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint, said WiMax wouldn't cost extra all the way up until the launch, when they announced the $10 fee. I certainly wouldn't expect any better from Verizon or AT&T. So then, by including that 4G bolt-on from Sprint in your price comparison, you're comparing apples to oranges. Last but not least, there is NO data cap with WiMax on Sprint. NONE. Did you read the report about being able to hit a 5gb cap with LTE in 32 minutes of usage? Good luck with that folks, I'm happy to pay an extra $10, and stream tv and movies through my phone without concern for data usage. Ok, so drop some knowledge on me, how again is Sprint not an amazing value?
  • Hrel - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    not to mention ATT/Verizon charge for absolutely every add on. GPS, TV, Verizon's 4G only let's you use upt o 5GB/month. They charge insane amounts of money for tethering.
  • Shaorinor - Thursday, January 6, 2011 - link

    As nice as it would be for AT&T/Verizon to "take a nod" from Sprint, the fact is that they don't have to. It's like saying Intel should take a nod from AMD or Nvidia take a nod from AMD. People will still buy it at whatever price point it's set at unfortunately.
  • mcnabney - Thursday, January 6, 2011 - link

    AT&T and Verizon should NOT take a nod from Sprint.

    Sprint hasn't made a profit for 17 quarters. Over four years of losing money. Usually, 2-3 billion in red ink each year. Those low prices are underwritten my stupid investors willing to buy their bonds and securities.
  • nutmac - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - link

    I live in Bay Area and In all the areas I've been to recently, none exceeded 1 Mbps. In fact, I average 300 to 600 Kbps at best, which is UMTS territory.

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