AT&T Fires Up LTE Network In NYC, SF, LA And More

AT&T definitely has a few LTE-friendly goodies planned for an official reveal at CES, but those shiny new toys won’t be doing you much good unless you’ve got that 4G network to go with it.

To that end, AT&T has just announced they have fired up LTE service in 11 new areas today, bringing their running total to 26 markets and 74 million covered customers.

If you happen to live in Austin, Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, congratulations! Fire up your Vivid or your Skyrocket (hopefully you didn’t shell out all that dough for a Jetstream) and revel in that high speed data connection. Metro NYC is also on the list, though customers in the area have been able to play with the LTE network for a little while now.

AT&T is still lagging behind rival Verizon when it comes to sheer number of markets and people covered, but they could stand to learn from Verizon’s missteps. I probably don’t need to remind you that Verizon’s own LTE network notoriously left some customers without access to a data connection three times in a single month, an issue that was ultimately characterized as “growing pains.”

AT&T’s slower pace so far means that yes, fewer people have access to their LTE network, but it would be well worth it if they can control their growth to as make sure the same sorts of infrastructure snafus don’t happen. In the end, they may be able to come out of the 4G coverage race looking like a winner even if it takes them longer to do what Verizon already has.