By becoming an exclusive partner with Apple Inc. for the iPhone, AT&T has seen tremendous financial benefits. However Apple is currently discussing the possibilities of bringing the iPhone on Verizon Wireless sometime in 2011. In the meantime, AT&T has decided to ramp up the LTE deployment.
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is also known as the 4G network. Yesterday AT&T sent out a press release mentioning that they are building faster 3G networks as well. AT&T stated that they will be boosting 3G speeds to HSPA 7.2 and will have more network upgrades by the end of 2011.
Starting in 2010, AT&T will be testing LTE networks and will begin deploying in the 2011. This will give download speeds of about 7.2Mbps. AT&T plans to launch laptop cards that are HSPA 7.2-compatible later this year.
The dollar amount that AT&T plans to spend on expanding their network speeds will be between $17 and $18 billion in 2009 alone.