AT&T 4G LTE network (aka, real 4G) launches 9/18

AT&T’s rollout of its new high-speed mobile data network will officially begin on Sunday.

Currently, AT&T’s high-speed network uses technology that allowed it to be quickly implemented across the country but only offered incremental upgrades over this 3G speeds.

Many criticized the company for even using the term “4G” because they felt it devalued the much more robust and faster solutions offered by carriers like Sprint and Verizon.

AT&T heard this criticism lound and clear and has been working to launch an LTE network. LTE is the 4G standard currently in use by Verizon and widely considered to be the superior format of the competing 4G offerings.

On September 18, AT&T will flip the LTE switch in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Other major markets will get the upgraded service in the coming months.

AT&T originally said it would be able to launch its LTE network in mid-2011, and while it was a little bit off that target, in the world of mobile infrastructure changes, that’s pretty good.

Of course, AT&T still has many obstacles to overcome. Verizon’s LTE network has been up and running for nearly a year and encompasses a large swath of the country. In addition, AT&T continues to rank at the bottom of the charts when it comes to both customer service and the mobile service itself.

Nevertheless, it’s keeping busy as it continues to score sweetheart, exclusive-provider deals with devices like the Kindle and Sony’s Playstation Vita.