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AT&T details 4G plans [updated]

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 6:58PM EST

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AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega gave a keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The focus was undoubtedly 4G — as we reported earlier today — and de la Vega was joined by Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha, HTC CEO Peter Chou and Samsung CEO J. K. Shin to show off exciting upcoming devices. Here are some highlights:

  • AT&T is accelerating its LTE deployment — it will launch LTE later this year and complete its deployment by 2013
  • AT&T HSPA+ provides “4G speeds,” and is already deployed to nearly 100% of AT&T’s network
  • 20 new 4G devices will be introduced this year including modems, mobile hotspots and phones
  • De la Vega included Apple in his list of manufacturers set to launch “4G” devices this year [updated]
  • Motorola ATRIX 4G launches this year: 4G LTE, Android OS, 1GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 1930 mAh battery, 10.9mm thick, HTML5 support
  • The ATRIX 4G has a laptop dock that basically turns the phone into a full notebook-sized smartbook — very weird, very intriguing — and a home entertainment dock
  • HTC Inspire 4G: new HTC Sense UI, support, 4.3-inch display, Android 2.2 OS, physical location awareness (phone rings louder when in a pocket or bag, then quiets when taken out), HTML5 support
  • Samsung Infuse 4G: AT&T’s thinnest smartphone, 4.5-inch Super-AMOLED Plus display, Android 2.2 OS, 8-megapixel rear camera, front-facing camera for video chat, HTML 5 support
  • AT&T’s first “4G” tablet will come soon from Motorola: dual core Tegra 2, 10.1-inch display, Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS
  • First LTE tablets coming this year
  • 12 new Android devices coming this year
  • BlackBerry Torch sales have been strong and Windows Phone 7 sales have increased steadily since its launch

In terms of timing for those great new 4G smartphones mention above, five to seven HSPA+ devices will be introduced in the first half of this year, and the Motorola ATRIX 4G, HTC Infuse 4G and Samsung Infuse 4G will be among them. Hit the break for AT&T’s full press release related to today’s announcements.

UPDATE: Well, AT&T’s ridiculous decision to call both HSPA+ and LTE “4G”is already causing problems — AT&T contacted us to let us know that no iPhone-related LTE announcements were made. Apparently the “4G” mentioned alongside de la Vega’s mention of Apple did not refer to LTE “4G”.

AT&T Announces Plans to Deliver Nation’s Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience

Nation’s Fastest Mobile Broadband Network Getting Faster with 4G; Accelerates LTE network build — to be largely complete by YE 2013. Completes HSPA+ deployment to virtually 100% of network, enabling 4G speeds with expanded backhaul; widens lead in smartphones & devices — 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including industry-leading Android lineup; expands lead in Mobile Apps with new initiatives to speed collaboration, development.

Las Vegas, Nevada, January 05, 2011

AT&T* today said it is building the nation’s most advanced mobile broadband experience by pursuing three key initiatives:

  • NETWORK: AT&T operates the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network today, and it’s getting faster in 2011 with 4G.  AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to delivering 4G using both HSPA+ and LTE technologies – providing a faster and more consistent experience for customers. The company announced plans today to accelerate its LTE network build, to be largely complete by yearend 2013; AT&T plans to begin its launch of LTE service in mid 2011. Additionally, the company said it has completed its deployment of HSPA+ to virtually 100 percent of its mobile broadband network which enables 4G speeds when combined with Ethernet or fiber backhaul. The company is rapidly expanding Ethernet and fiber to cell sites nationwide — adding new cell sites weekly — and by yearend, expects that nearly two-thirds of its mobile broadband traffic will be on expanded backhaul.

Today, AT&T is already seeing 4G speeds on its existing HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul in areas of key markets. In these areas, AT&T is seeing network speeds up to approximately 6 Mbps** — and expects these speeds will increase as it accelerates its LTE build and further deploys expanded backhaul.

  • SMARTPHONES & DEVICES:  AT&T is the leader in smartphones and devices, and expects to widen that lead in 2011. The company plans to introduce 20 4G devices by the end of the year, some on an exclusive basis. The company today announced a new commitment to deliver an industry-leading Android portfolio, including more than 12 new Android devices in 2011. AT&T expects to offer two 4G smartphones in the first quarter which will join its two existing 4G-compatible laptop cards, available since last fall.  AT&T plans to offer five to seven 4G devices in its lineup in the first half of 2011.
  • APPLICATIONS: AT&T provides its customers access to more mobile applications than any other carrier. In 2011, the company plans to expand its leadership in apps with new initiatives to speed collaboration with apps developers and further open AT&T’s network capabilities to the development community.

” The key to delivering a true 4G experience is to have the combination of network, devices and applications, which together will give our customers the best and most advanced mobile broadband experience —  today and tomorrow,”  said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Recent tax law incentives, along with other policy developments, have allowed us to accelerate the capital investment — beginning in 2011 — to largely complete our LTE network build by the end of 2013. This will not only benefit our customers, but will, we hope, benefit the economy as a whole.”

Nation’s fastest mobile broadband network getting faster with 4G

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network today, according to independent expert testing, and its network roadmap will distinguish AT&T as the industry moves towards 4G/LTE technology over the next several years. He spoke at AT&T’s Developer Summit, held annually in conjunction with the 2011 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

“AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to both HSPA+ and LTE technologies,” said de la Vega.  “Today our customers are benefitting as we repeatedly increase speeds on our mobile broadband network.  As we accelerate our LTE network build, our customers will have blazing fast LTE speeds and when they go off LTE, they will still have faster mobile broadband speeds with HSPA+ — something our competitors will not be able to match.”

Additional information available at (website available after 10 a.m., PT on Jan. 5)

Industry-leading device portfolio expands with powerful 4G devices

On the device front, de la Vega said AT&T plans to offer 20 4G devices in 2011.  In the first half of 2011, AT&T plans to feature a best-in-class portfolio of HSPA+ devices; in the second half of the year, it plans to also add LTE devices, including a leading collection of smartphones, tablets, modems and mobile hotspots.

“Today we are the clear leader when it comes to offering the most extensive line-up of handsets and devices,” he said.  “We plan to strengthen our portfolio with powerful 4G devices and a major new commitment to offer an industry-leading portfolio of Android devices.”

“The upcoming lineup of 4G Android smartphones from AT&T is truly cutting-edge,” said Andy Rubin, vice president of Engineering at Google. “These devices coupled with the recent deployment of carrier billing as an Android Market purchase option for AT&T customers
are great examples of AT&T’s commitment to smartphone leadership.”

With over 100,000 applications available in Android Market plus carrier billing, AT&T customers can more easily shop for the latest apps for Android smartphones.

  • The Motorola ATRIX™ 4G Android 2.2 smartphone will be offered exclusively by AT&T and is the world’s most powerful smartphone.  Featuring a 1 GHz dual-core processor, ATRIX 4G delivers a remarkable combination of application processing power, 4G network speed and a high-resolution qHD display.  It will be complemented by breakthrough accessories that include a revolutionary, super-thin laptop dock —  for which ATRIX 4G is the “engine” — and an HD media dock that uses ATRIX 4G’s HDMI video output capabilities and processing power to enable a revolutionary browsing, application and media experience. For more information, visit (website available after 10 a.m. PT on Jan. 5). This device is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
  • The HTC Inspire™4G is a stunning, 4.3-inch super LCD smartphone running on Android 2.2 smartphone and the first in North America to feature the next-generation HTC Sense platform with cloud services.  The new Sense platform can pinpoint on a map a lost phone, send a command to sound an alert on the handset, and remotely wipe the phone’s data with a single command through  Inspire 4G also delivers an 8-megapixel camera and a HD video recorder. The HTC Inspire 4G will include a 1 GHZ processor, while also boasting a premium, aluminum unibody design. For more information, visit (website available after 10 a.m., PT on Jan. 5). This device is slated for launch in the first quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
  • The Samsung Infuse™ 4G will be the thinnest Android device and feature the largest screen — at 4.5 inches — in AT&T’s smartphone lineup.  The device delivers a brilliant display using Samsung’s next-generation Super AMOLED™ Plus technology which features 50% more sub-pixels for better contrast and outdoor readability. The Infuse will be powered by a 1.2 GHz application processor and run the Android 2.2 platform. This device is slated for launch in the second quarter of 2011, only for AT&T customers.
  • 4G Tablets – AT&T plans to launch two 4G tablets, including its first LTE tablet, by mid summer.  Additional LTE tablets are planned for the second half of 2011.

Additional device specifications and images are available at

AT&T’s Mobile Apps Initiatives deepen relationship with developers, speed collaboration, innovation

AT&T also announced that it is building on its leadership in mobile applications by expanding collaboration opportunities with the development community — with a focus on speeding innovation to customers.

A leader in the application development community said AT&T’s strategy makes sense: “AT&T is moving quickly to open its network to developers in unprecedented ways,” said Sam Ramji, vice president of strategy for Apigee.  “Our work with AT&T will give developers easy access to network capabilities and billing tools.  AT&T’s commitment to working with the developer community makes the company a leading platform for innovators.”

AT&T CTO John Donovan said AT&T, in collaboration with others, is investing $70 million to build three innovation centers worldwide – an effort considered unprecedented in working with the app developer community.   He said the first center is planned to open in the first quarter near Dallas.  The other two – in Silicon Valley and near Tel Aviv – are slated to open later this year.  The centers are designed to foster collaboration and improve project cycle time from idea to market by threefold.

David Christopher, CMO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, announced plans for a series of apps initiatives including:

  • A renewed commitment to providing more “Apps for All’’ by utilizing Brew Mobile Platform on all of its new quick messaging phones – which a sizeable segment of consumers who aren’t ready for smartphones rely on today.  AT&T announced plans for the first of these popular devices — the HTC Freestyle, available next month — and said it planned to introduce five additional new quick messaging phones this year.  By installing Brew Mobile Platform across quick messaging phones, which traditionally have had operating systems specific to each device maker, developers can write an application once and be able to offer it to all Brew Mobile Platform based phones from AT&T.  AT&T also announced that America Movil and Rogers Wireless have agreed to use Brew Mobile Platform, giving developers access to customers throughout the Americas.
  • An opportunity for developers to apply to join a new Alpha Program for developing apps for AT&T’s award-winning U-verse® TV – allowing selected developers to collaborate with AT&T to influence the way in which mobile, Web and PC-based apps can be created and integrated in homes with U-verse services (  At the event, AT&T’s Peter Hill, VP of ecosystem and innovation, demonstrated how U-verse Mobile Application Development Technology can effectively enable a mobile device to interactively share media, content and apps with the TV.  This technology could lead to the creation of apps that enable AT&T customers to shop, vote and play games via their wireless devices and TVs.
  • Plans to go live in March with a Beta program for an HTML5 development toolkit for AT&T devices (  HTML5 enables developers to create apps that work on multiple operating systems instead of just one – which is frequently the case today – and will spur app proliferation.  By the second half of this year, AT&T expects the majority of its new smartphones and a number of quick messaging phones will support current HTML5 standards.  AT&T is a founding member of the Wholesale Applications Community, or WAC, and HTML5 is at the core of the community’s 2.0 specifications.
  • A first-of-a-kind agreement with Open Feint that makes AT&T the first and only U.S. carrier to offer a social gaming platform that can work across wireless networks. The agreement opens API’s for the popular Open Feint social gaming platform for AT&T smartphones, and the SDK is available at no charge on the AT&T Developer Program web site for Android developers ( Open Feint allows developers to tap into a social gaming engine to build games that allow a user to compare scores, challenge each other and even compete head to head — capabilities that can be costly to build independently.

More information on AT&T’s developer program is available at  For additional information on today’s announcements, please visit

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. Will be available in limited areas. Availability increasing with ongoing backhaul deployment. Actual speeds experience will vary and depend on several factors include device, location, capacity, facilities, and other conditions. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.