AT&T Launches 4G in Five Cities

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AT&T's data traffic has grown to over 8,000% in the past four years. (Image: Gabriella Fabbri)
AT&T's data traffic has grown to over 8,000% in the past four years. (Image: Gabriella Fabbri)

BUSINESS

  • AT&T launches 4G in five cities
  • Verizon releases their first 4G phone
  • AT&T strikes deal to buy T-Mobile

The hottest craze in mobile phone technology is definitely LTE or 4G technology: AT&T have announced plans to launch their new 4G network in 5 cities - including Atlanta, Chicago, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas - to be the first to try out LTE this summer.

By the end of the year, 10 cities are expected to be under 4G coverage. In anticipation of growing demand for 4G, 20 new phones and USB modems will be 4G compatible. The iPhone 5 is not expected to be a 4G compatible model.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T's main rival, launched its 4G network in December. Verizon boasts that their download speed can reach 12 megabits per second.Its new phone, the HTC Thunderbolt, is Verizon's first 4G Android phone.

An emerging competitor, LightSquared, is attacking from a different angle, claiming it can make dead-zones a thing of the past and plan to make wholesale 4G networks nationwide.

LightSquared builds networks for existing wireless services from AT&T, Apple, Best Buy, and any other major company. At the end of last year, AT&T led the mobile phone market with 95.5 million subscribers.

AT&T to Buy T-Mobile

AT&T confirmed that it has made a deal with T-Mobile worth almost $40 billion. As a result of the new purchase, AT&T would significantly widen its lead over other competitors.

Sprint may have been considering buying T-Mobile; however AT&T obviously offered a better deal. T-Mobile has over 33 million subscribers. The deal is expected to close within 12 months.

Key Statistics – Telecommunications in the US (source: Business Insider)

  • AT&T's data traffic has grown to over 8,000% in the past four years, that figure is expected to be 8-10 times larger by 2015.
  • AT&T's accumulated traffic from 2010 is estimated to match traffic figures from the first 6-8 weeks of 2015.
  • When merged, AT&T would have over 129 subscribers, a figure well above Verizon's 94 million customers.

By Nicole Manuel for
Nicole Manuel is a freelance economics, finance and blog writer with a degree in economics and over two years of experience.

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