With it having been in the works for so long, it's easy to forget that AT&T is ready to flip the switch on its sparkling-new LTE network virtually any second now. But Ma Bell is happy to remind us of its impending
true 4G launch by announcing that its first two dedicated LTE devices, the USBConnect Momentum 4G and Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, are set to be sold in stores this upcoming Sunday. In addition, users of the USBConnect Adrenaline will be able to download a firmware update on August 26th that turns on its dormant LTE radio. The carrier also officially announced that its DataConnect plans will be offered for $50 per month for 5GB, with usage charges of $10 for each additional GB. Hold your horses, though -- the units will be available for purchase and can be used on HSPA+ for now, but it doesn't guarantee AT&T will activate the higher-speed 4G network next week. Nay, we may have to wait just a little longer before Ralph de la Vega pushes the big red button on his desk, but that day is not too distant.
First LTE/HSPA+ Devices Arrive in AT&T Stores Aug. 21
AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G Eligible for $50, 5GB Data Plans
Dallas, Texas, August 16, 2011
The AT&T* USBConnect Momentum 4G** and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G** will be available in stores and online Aug. 21.
AT&T also confirmed data pricing for data-only mobile broadband devices on the company's forthcoming LTE network.
Customers will be able to choose 5 gigabytes of data for a monthly rate of $50 with any additional data consumed available for $10 per gigabyte.
The LTE-upgradeable AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline will also be able to be updated to LTE beginning Aug. 26.
Data Plan Options
As the first devices that will be able to take advantage of AT&T's future 4G LTE network arrive in AT&T stores, customers who choose the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will be able to select the same $50 for 5 GB data option as many current USBConnect or Mobile Hotspot customers do today.
Also capable of 4G speeds on AT&T's HSPA+ network, the USBConnect Momentum 4G, Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will be the only LTE devices in the United States to have a 4G/HSPA+ network with enhanced backhaul to fall back to if a customer moves outside of LTE coverage.
Already in customers' hands, the AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline is LTE-upgradeable, containing an LTE chipset that can be enabled with a software update. Those customers can visit www.att.com/adrenaline to download that update beginning Aug. 26.
AT&T recently announced plans to roll out 4G LTE in five markets – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio – later this summer. Customers with compatible devices and 4G LTE coverage in those markets will be able to enjoy access to 4G LTE speeds as AT&T's 4G LTE is turned up.
As AT&T rolls out 4G LTE, customers outside of its 4G LTE coverage areas will still have access to AT&T's fast HSPA+ network. When combined with enhanced backhaul, HSPA+ enables 4G speeds that are up to four times faster than AT&T's already fast mobile broadband speeds. Because AT&T has taken the extra step of deploying HSPA+ technology with enhanced backhaul, its customers will have access to consistently fast mobile broadband speeds when moving in and out of 4G LTE areas.
By the end of 2011, AT&T plans to offer 4G LTE to customers in at least 15 markets, covering 70 million Americans.