AT&T has reportedly gone live with its first 4G LTE-Advanced network this week in Chicago, with others coming extremely soon. We’ve been seeing “LTE-A” devices lately from Korea and a few other markets, offering a new faster LTE-Advanced network, and now AT&T is first with it in the US.
According to reports from GigaOm, AT&T has officially confirmed Chicago is one of a few cities throughout the US that already has AT&T 4G LTE-A speeds employed. Something that promises a better, faster, and impressive network for all smartphone users. So what is AT&T 4G LTE-A? A blend or “carrier aggregation” of two 4G LTE network bands into one extremely fast and stable connection for our devices.
We’ve seen a few LTE-A devices over the past 6 months. Most notably was the Snapdragon 800 powered Galaxy S4 in Korea and a few other regions, which employed Qualcomm’s latest chip which is capable of these new faster networks speeds. For now the only AT&T devices capable of LTE-A are a few wireless hotspot units.
Samsung was one of the first to experience these speeds, and the new Galaxy S5 uses Qualcomm’s improved Snapdragon 801, which also has full 4G LTE-A support built-in. So while AT&T hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy S5 will be its first smartphone that can take advantage of these new speeds, it seems likely. Although they do offer the Snapdragon 800-powered LG G2, which theoretically also supports LTE-A.
So what does this mean to average consumers using AT&T with a capable device? Potential download speeds of up to 110Mbps. Basically faster and better internet speeds. Something that far exceeds what’s available today for smartphones and tablets. The blend of two networks into one with LTE-A also ensures a stable connection, one that won’t slow down with heavy usage from millions of devices, since they’ve doubled the bandwidth.
Of course, the Galaxy S5 is expected to be available throughout the US and on AT&T in the early weeks of April, which could come with an announcement of LTE-A from AT&T. Expect more details from AT&T to arrive soon as they prepare and launch LTE-A in more regions across the US.