AT&T senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets Pete Ritcher took the stage during the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference on Wednesday, where he confirmed that AT&T will launch its first 4G LTE smartphone by the end of this year. Ritcher reaffirmed AT&T’s intention to deploy its LTE network in 15 markets covering 70 million people by the end of 2011, and it hopes to continue its roll-out on a market-by-market basis, Fierce Wireless reported. AT&T will initially only offer laptop cards alongside the new LTE network, and AT&T is expected to launch 4G LTE in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer. “We are the only carrier with LTE and HSPA+,” Ritcher said. “When you don’t have LTE you will fall back to faster speeds than our competitors,” he added, noting that Verizon’s 4G customers fall back to the slower EV-DO network when LTE is not available. More →
Patience Virgin Mobile subscribers, patience. Last month we scooped an upcoming mobile broadband offering from Virgin Mobile that is slowly but surely making its way to Best Buy Mobile. Shortly thereafter, we scared up some possible details as far as pricing and data cost are concerned. Well folks, it looks like we might be getting closer to launch time as one of our readers tossed on his mining hat and managed to dig up some dirt. Found camping out on a Best Buy image server, two images of an upcoming Virgin Mobile USB modem sit ready and waiting. We’ve verified their presence on Best Buy’s servers and the item numbers match so you’re indeed looking at what will be VM’s first mobile broadband accessory here in the US. To refresh your memory, Virgin Mobile will supposedly offer both prepaid and postpaid mobile broadband packages and the modem will run $150. Hit the jump for one more shot.
We’re not sure how many readers out there are sitting on the edges of their seats waiting for more info on Virgin Mobile’s upcoming broadband card we scooped last week. If there is even one however, we would be remiss if we ignored him or her. Consider this unconfirmed for the time being, but a tipster whose intel has panned out in the past just hit us with the missing puzzle piece from our scoop — prepaid pricing. Virgin Mobile is all about prepaid after all, so we were pretty curious to find out how attractive its prepaid pricing structure would be. Answer: meh. It looks like VM will offer $20 prepaid cards alongside its broadband offering and each card will be good for 250MB of data. We’re not yet sure if additional denominations will be available. 250MB for $20 might not seem like a great deal but it’s actually not terrible — users looking for a mobile broadband solution for light use while traveling every few months for example, will definitely save hundreds of dollars or more by avoiding a monthly subscription fee.
So to recap what we have so far: $149.99 for the card / Postpaid options: 5GB of data per month for $40 or 1GB of data per month for an unknown fee / Prepaid option: $20 per 250MB prepaid card.
You know everyone has a mobile broadband card when Virgin Mobile is going to be carrying one… We just got word, and this screenshot, from one of our ninjas saying Best Buy is going to be carrying the data card starting June 14th. Just like everything else from Virgin Mobile, there will apparently be a prepaid option as well! Do you find yourself constantly worrying that you’re about to pass the 5GB softcap on your plan? If so, prepaid can definitely put an end to your troubles. Pricing isn’t solid yet but as far as monthly plan options go, we’re told it should be competitive with Cricket — possibly $40 for 5GB and a cheaper 1GB plan as well — and the card itself will run $149.99. Details on how prepaid will work are not yet avaialble.