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AT&T lights up 4G LTE in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Naples

Network now available in 38 cities; AT&T promises more LTE implementations by summer

AT&T Thursday launched its 4G LTE service in, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Naples, Fla., today, which extends its high-speed network implementations to 38 markets.

In a statement today, AT&T also said that it has expanded its LTE network in Chicago.

"We're making good, steady progress with our 4G LTE rollout and expanding to more markets and more customers," a spokeswoman said.

New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Naples are among the cities that AT&T in March said would get LTE service by early summer.

The LTE technology complements the fast AT&T HSPA+ network service that's available in many areas. AT&T 4G smartphones will revert to HSPA+ or 3G when LTE is not available.

The Network News section on the AT&T Web site notes that the carrier expects to complete work on its LTE network by 2013.

AT&T started the LTE rollout in 2011, after Verizon Wireless launched its LTE network in late 2010. Verizon announced earlier this week that it now offers LTE services in 258 localities.

Sprint is planning to launch LTE in six cities by mid-year, while T-Mobile plans to launch its LTE network in 2012.

Early LTE deployments have shown fast Web browsing speeds on relatively uncrowded portions of the network.

Metrico Wireless has undertaken thousands of tests on both AT&T and Verizon LTE networks in New York and Baltimore-Washington and found comparable speeds, with Web page load times of less than a second.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected].

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

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