AT&T has announced today that it will begin rolling out its new LTE service this summer, starting with 5 cities, and will be adding another 10 or so cities in the second half of 2011. They aim to bring LTE service to over 70 million Americans by the end of 2011.
The five cities that will be initially benefitting from the faster LTE connection are Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, and San Antonio. The locations of the other 10 cities for later this year are as yet unknown.
While it’s not likely that Apple’s mobile devices will become LTE-capable until sometime in 2012, this sets the stage nicely, and AT&T seems to be making reasonable progress in bringing this new technology to as many people on their network as possible.
The news comes as AT&T fights a negative image among iPhone users for congested networks and capping speeds for the iPhone 3G. Introducing LTE would go far in erasing some of that bad taste for iPhone owners. We reported earlier this month that AT&T’s LTE version tested at 28.87Mbps for downloads – higher than Verizon’s 5-12Mbps. LTE is capable of 150Mbps.