AT&T expands LTE network

AT&T has added new cities to its 4G LTE network just in time for the iPhone 5.

The carrier’s high-speed service is now available in Birmingham, Alabama; Cincinnati, Ohio; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Honolulu, Hawaii; Memphis, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Sacramento, California; Seattle, Washington; and Wilmington, Delaware.

AT&T has the second most robust LTE infrastructure in the country, behind Verizon. However, it is in no position to dethrone Verizon any time soon.

The #1 LTE carrier enjoys a substantial lead in the 4G world, because Verizon waited to deploy its next generation mobile broadband service until the technology was just right.

AT&T, on the other hand, launched a 4G initiative early on, using a standard known as HSPA+. While HSPA+ is notably faster than 3G, it cannot even compare to LTE.

So now, AT&T has to essentially scrap all the work that it put into HSPA+ and build a brand new network using LTE technology.

Sprint is doing the same thing, and is even further behind than AT&T. T-Mobile, meanwhile, is sticking with HSPA+ and is using that as a method of keeping its costs down and adding the ability for consumers to have unlimited data.