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AT&T outlines spring LTE rollout plans

AT&T isn't taking a spring break when it comes to LTE deployments.

The carrier today outlined its plans to launch 4G LTE services in a dozen cities over the next three months, including Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Louis and Staten Island in New York City. Other cities to get LTE this spring are Akron, Ohio; Canton, Ohio; Naples, Fla.; Bloomington, Ind.; Lafayette, Ind.; Muncie, Ind.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Bryan-College Station, Texas.

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AT&T became the second major U.S. wireless carrier to commercially establish LTE services in the United States when it launched LTE in Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. The carrier has steadily been expanding the reach of its own LTE network ever since, as this past week saw AT&T launch LTE in New York, San Francisco and other major markets. AT&T projects that its LTE footprint will double by year-end, hitting more than 150 million points of presence (PoPs) in 56 markets. The carrier also says it plans to have its entire current HSPA+ network covered by LTE by the end of 2013.

Verizon became the first major U.S. carrier to deploy LTE in late 2010 when it launched the technology in 38 major markets covering roughly one-third of the U.S. population, and both Sprint and T-Mobile have made plans to offer their own LTE services sometime in 2012.

LTE, which stands for Long Term Evolution, is essentially a bridge from 3G technologies such as HSPA+ and EV-DO Rev. A to the 4G IMT-Advanced technologies that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says will deliver consistent speeds in the 100Mbps range.

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