CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

Summary: AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said the company will step up its Long-Term Evolution investment and roll out LTE services in the middle of the year. Meanwhile, AT&T its smartphone lineup and touted new 4G Android phones and tablets from Motorola, HTC and Samsung.

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CES 2011

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said Wednesday that it will step up its Long-Term Evolution investment and roll out 4G services in the middle of the year. Meanwhile, AT&T diversified its smartphone lineup and touted new 4G Android devices from Motorola, HTC and Samsung.

Company executives said that it is looking to keep its device lead in smartphones and offer faster speeds. AT&T's Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher said it will offer a Motorola's Honeycomb Android tablet in the second quarter running off its current network. LTE tablets will follow in the summer.

AT&T executives referred to 4G devices running off its HSPA+ for the first six months of the year followed by an LTE transition that will go through 2013 (statement). AT&T CTO John Donovan said that its plan to offer HSPA+ and LTE will lead to better hand-offs between services. Donovan also mocked "competitors" that are creating networks that can't manage 4G handoffs.

"AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to both HSPA+ and LTE technologies,” said de la Vega.

The smartphone news played out about as expected. In a nutshell:

  • AT&T will launch 20 4G devices this year. A dozen Android devices are on tap in 2011.
  • Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha showed off the Atrix 4G. Jha called it "the world's most powerful smartphone." The Atrix has a dock that allows for desktop Web browsing.
  • HTC CEO Peter Chou also showed off the Inspire 4G, which has the next generation Sense exclusive to AT&T. The Inspire features HTML5 support, a 4.3 inch display and Android 2.2.
  • Samsung also talked about devices that will offer bigger screens, 4G speeds and high resolution cameras. J.K. Shin, president and head of Samsung Mobile Communications, said its Infuse 4G would offer the largest and thinnest screen.

The news, which was delivered at the AT&T Developer Summit at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, highlights key strategic moves for AT&T and handset makers. To wit:

  • AT&T is lining up with HTC and Motorola to show it can deliver results when it loses iPhone exclusivity. AT&T is also responding to a 4G happy CES and wants to show it can be a contender on LTE.
  • Motorola Mobility is in a similar position and needs to diversify. Jha has been aligned with Verizon for the last year, but will see his company battle for shelf space with the iPhone.
  • HTC wants to be the go-to 4G handset provider and cover all the carrier bases.
  • Samsung is looking to grab more of the Android pie.

A few images.

Topics: Samsung, Android, Google, Hardware, HTC, Mobility, AT&T, Wi-Fi

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7 comments
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  • Android Abundance

    So as far as I know, the Verizon/iPhone deal isn't official. But with all of these Android phone announcements coming from AT&T, it really seems like a play on their part to prepare for the mass exodus of iPhone users switching to Verizon.
    jackoalltrades
    • RE: CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

      @jackoalltrades
      "mass exodus of iPhone users switching to Verizon."
      Yeah... well, I'm expecting that will make their network perform better.! Less users, more speed.
      (Not that I'm a big fan of AT&T on my iPhone... but I'm just saying...)
      esdrasf@...
  • ATT is a joke

    Hey, glad they have 8 windows phones, that will grantee that they will keep on losing market share.
    Uralbas
    • RE: CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

      @Uralbas [i]glad they have 8 windows phones[/i]

      Um, I'm certainly no genius, but how does offering a product cause you to lose market share? I can certainly understand that if you [i]don't[/i] offer a specific product that you could lose market share, but offering one should have no effect.

      Unless this was just your childish way of "slamming" MS.
      Badgered
  • AT&T steps on the gas ....

    For the purpose of letting you reach and exceed their INSANELY low volume limits as quickly as possible, creating huge $profits.

    $18B in profit last year, and roughly $2B spent in fiber build-out. Does anyone else long for the good old days of a fully-regulated Monopoly- BEFORE the drive for excessive profits, and the huge investment in thousands of highly redundant base stations and backbone networks (each linked into just one of the major wireless carriers)?

    It's gone totally YUCK (with lousy performance, high prices, and really slow migration into more modern technology.) And BTW, it ain't AT&T ... it's Ameritech, eaten by Southwestern Bell, with PacTel (also eaten by SBC), and Southern New England (also eaten by SBC) and BellSouth (eaten by AT&T after SBC ate the AT&T "long distance" company and changed it's name. The same old Godzilla-like Monopoly environment is back, with each of the 3 regional Godzillas (AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest) able to "compete" with relatively few restrictions on their profits or market entry choices.
    Rick S._z
  • RE: CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

    Now . . . how long will it take for them to roll it out to more than just a few cities?
    CobraA1
    • RE: CES: AT&T steps on the 4G gas, lines up Android phones, tablets

      @CobraA1

      No idea, but I noticed that Verizon only has it in a few cities so far. I'll be interesting to see who gets "real" nationwide coverage 1st.
      Badgered