LAS VEGAS--AT&T announced at its Developer's Summit at CES this morning that it will launch its 4G LTE network by the middle of this year. Details of initial markets, pricing, and exact rollout plans are still few at this point, but the carrier says the network will be complete by 2013.
The news, which comes in the middle of a flurry of 4G announcements here, finally puts AT&T on the road to a high-speed data network. Though rivals like Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and MetroPCS have operated commercially available 4G networks for several months, AT&T has lagged behind.
The carrier also revealed its first selection of 4G-capable phones with the Motorola Atrix 4G, the Samsung Infuse 4G, and the HTC Inspire 4G. These early handsets will top out at HSPA+, which the International Telecommunications now recognizes as a 4G technology, and will run Android 2.2. Pricing was not available at the time of this writing, but here are the other details we have so far:
- The Motorola Atrix 4G will offer a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard memory, and a 1,920mAh lithium ion battery. AT&T is billing it as the "world's most powerful smartphone," but we'll have to see for ourselves. In any case, we should find out more at the Motorola press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. PT today.
- The HTC Inspire 4G promises a 1GHz processor, a 4.3 inch super LCD display, HTC next-generation Sense UI with cloud services, an 8-megapixel camera, and HD video recorder. Stay tuned for a hands-on and photos.
- The Samsung Infuse 4G brings a 1.2 GHz Hummingbird processor, an 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls, and a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display. AT&T is promising a very thin profile as well and we'll check it out.
AT&T will release the Atrix 4G and Inspire 4G in the first quarter of this year with the Infuse 4G following later. By June, the carrier says it will add five to seven devices to its lineup with more than 20 4G phones, tablets, and modems coming by the end of 2011.