AT&T is on schedule and on pace to roll out its fourth-generation high-speed wireless network by the middle of next year. Should AT&T still, by then, remain the exclusive US carrier of the iPhone, Apple's fifth generation iPhone (likely to be released next summer) may very well debut in unison with AT&T's faster-than-ever network.
AT&T Mobility will launch commercial LTE service by mid-2011, and will cover between 70 million and 75 million POPs by the end of next year, a top executive said.
According to Stankey, AT&T may very well cough up as as much as $700 million on its LTE network this year, with plans to "go far beyond that" next year, an obvious jab at the competition. Verizon, after all, is working on its own LTE network to debut later this year and cover 100 million POPs.
Stankey also touched on AT&T's 3G network. AT&T is readying a nationwide HSPA+ upgrade for this year, which AT&T executives have said will allow the carrier to deliver real-world download speeds of 7 Mbps. In the meantime, the carrier continues to upgrade backhaul to cell sites it has upgraded to HSPA 7.2 technology.