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AT&T promises at least one LTE phone by late 2011

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011

ATT to have one LTE 4G phone late this year

AT&T's mobility Senior VP Pete Ritcher in his turn at an Oppenheimer conference Wednesday vowed that there would be at least one LTE-based smartphone from AT&T by the end of the year. The device wouldn't come until late, as AT&T wanted to make sure it had at least 50 million potential customers covered with the more authentic 4G access before stepping up its campaign. About 15 core markets, or 70 million people, should be reachable by the end of the year.

He didn't name the device in question with Fierce in attendance, but it's most likely to be the Motorola MB865. Considered mostly an AT&T adaptation of Verizon's upcoming Droid Bionic, it should share the 4.3-inch, 540x960 screen, dual-core processor, and eight-megapixel camera. The key difference will be the requisite switches to GSM for voice and HSPA+ for 3G.

Despite Apple still being the foundation of AT&T's smartphone business and having a new iPhone in the works for later this year, it isn't expected to have an LTE iPhone until at least 2012. Current chipsets would have forced major sacrifices. It would need a large chip just for the LTE and would likely see the same very short battery life that has prompted mass returns of the HTC Thunderbolt.

Ritcher repeated AT&T's view that the lack of as wide an LTE deployment as Verizon in the near term wouldn't be a problem. Outside of LTE areas, AT&T will still have HSPA+ speeds, which on the right devices will give up to 21Mbps. Moving to LTE would improve the 3G network at the same time as users gradually weaned themselves away from 3G and reduce the congestion.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    will it be an iPhone?

    If it's not an iPhone, who cares? SRSLY

  1. shigmas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more authentic?

    It's authenticer than the other guy's?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: More authentic

    I think it's "more authentic" than the HPSA+ that they call 4G now.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: will it be the iphone

    Yeah! Because the iPhone is the only phone worth talking about, all the other ones only exist for those who hate Apple or who refuse to spend the money on an iPhone.

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