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AT&T says its 4G will catch up to Verizon’s in 2-3 years

Yes, some of AT&T’s recent TV commercials have been giving ME “cognitive dissonance,” too! :-)

The CNN article says that “AT&T has used some marketing misdirection to claim its data network is 4G.”

On Thursday, AT&T Mobility CEO, Ralph de la Vega said that AT&T’s data network will not be on a par with that of Verizon Wireless until 2013 or 2014. AT&T has yet to launch its faster fourth-generation cellular technology, but has plans to do so in the second half of this year. It will take some time for AT&T’s wireless Internet to match Verizon’s in speed, reliability, and coverage, de la Vega said at the All Things Digital conference. Initially, de la Vega could not say when AT&T will meet Verizon’s quality, but he later added that he thinks that, “In the next two or three years, they will probably be indistinguishable.”

Regulators in the U.S. have yet to approve AT&T Mobility’s bid to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. AT&T has pledged to eventually reach 97% of the U.S. population with its 4G LTE network. Verizon plans to cover 97% to 98% with its 4G network, according to CTO David Small in an interview in March. For ALL carriers, customers will need to buy new phones that are compatible with 4G.

De la Vega says that the proposed merger will improve the quality of AT&T’s network, especially in major cities like New York and San Francisco. He said that building a new cell site in San Francisco takes two to three times longer than in other cities (no surprise THERE! :-) ).

De la Vega said that Apple’s insistence on absolute secrecy made AT&T have to retool their internal communications system to make it more secure. :-) “in the case of Apple, they’re very, very concerned about stuff getting out,” he said. “We built a complete infrastructure in our company to keep their information private.”

As for Apple and 4G: Apple COO Timothy Cook has said that 4G chips available were not up to iPhone’s standards yet and would require design changes that Apple engineers weren’t willing to make.

Well, my cognitive dissonance seems to be going away, at least until the next AT&T TV commercial….

-Bill at

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