AT&T Says No LTE Phones Until Close to Year's End
Speaking at a tech conference today, AT&T's senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets, Peter Ritcher, said that the company won't have a Long Term Evolution smartphone ready until late in 2011. The company's LTE network is still on track to launch in five markets this summer (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio), but the first devices able to access the LTE network will be a laptop dongle and mobile hotspot. When Verizon Wireless launched its LTE network in December 2010, it also only provided laptop dongles for access. It didn't debut an LTE_equipped smartphone until March. AT&T's Ritcher indicated that the company is in no rush to deploy LTE and LTE handsets, and has focused instead on bolstering its HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul. He specifically noted that AT&T is waiting for LTE handsets to mature. According to Ritcher, the company plans to take advantage of its LTE network to reduce the strain on its 3G network. "We will offload traffic to the spectrum for LTE and it will help with the performance of our 3G network, he said. Ritcher didn't provide and details about its first LTE smartphone.
Why should they?
Hmmm... good call? Bad call?
I'm sure some people will come in saying that they should barrel into LTE, but I think building out what you have and working from there is the better idea.