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AT&T debuts LTE devices as network nears go-time


AT&T has yet to offer anything more specific than "later this summer," regarding the timing of its long-awaited 4G LTE rollout. But today it introduced two LTE devices, the USBConnect Momentum 4G and the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, suggesting that the rollout date is nearing.

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The USBConnect will retail for $50 with a two-year service contract, after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Hotspot Elevate, meanwhile, will be able to connect up to five WiFi-enabled devices to AT&T`s 4G LTE, where available, and elsewhere to HSPA+, 3G and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n networks. It`ll retail for $70, also with a two-year contract and after a $50 rebate.

Both devices are made by Sierra Wireless and support global connectivity in 200-plus countries, at international roaming rates.

As for the "where available" hitch, AT&T plans to turn on its LTE network in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio "later this summer" and cover 10 more markets — 70 million Americans in total — by year`s end. It also plans to add 20 4G devices to its portfolio this year, "some" of which will be LTE compatible (remember that, like T-Mobile, it calls its HSPA+ network 4G).

While it announced the LTE devices today, the announcement didn’t shed much additional light on that network launch timeline.

Both 4G devices, AT&T shared in its statement, will be available "this summer."

The last of the major wireless carriers to offer 4G, AT&T has said that its proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile is critical to a full rollout and will enable it to cover 97% of the country — 55 million more people than without it.


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