According to research firm “Technology Business Research”, AT&T may be looking to leapfrog their nearest and fiercest competitor, Verizon Wireless in the move to LTE Advanced. What is LTE Advanced you say? If you ask any self respected geek or mobile junkie, they’ll simply respond “real 4G” whose speeds are (in spec at least) supposed to deliver ~100 Mbps download speeds routinely. Current LTE speeds by comparison fluctuate wildly, ranging anywhere from near 60 Mbps down to as slow as a few Mbps.
But…should we take an analyst’s word as gold? The TBR firm mentioned above cites comments made by AT&T executives at the company’s November 27th Consumer Analyst Conference.
AT&T’s network strategy revolves around a simple 4G message that incorporates the company’s vast HSPA+ and LTE networks that stretch over its entire footprint. The network strategy will involve mainly LTE networks and LTE Advanced networks, which AT&T will begin firing up in 2H13. These enhanced networks will provide faster speeds and coverage to its subscriber base, as well as open up growth opportunities in new segments.
More speed is never a bad thing, especially with more and more people jumping onboard the data sucking smartphone bandwagon daily. That said, at what point do things get so crazy fast that we hit the point of diminishing returns? Really, do you need 80 Mbps download speeds to refresh your Facebook timeline and update your status? No. But if we didn’t care about and get excited about such things, what kind of tech aficionados would we be?
More importantly, going live with even a few LTE-Advanced markets late next year would see a seemingly fictitious event – AT&T jumping ahead of Verizon. Verizon, mind you, started their LTE rollout well before anyone else (made evident by their 400+ markets now covered by LTE). If AT&T can leap frog Verizon and get the next-gen network ball rolling first, one could properly assume that “hell had frozen over”.