AT&T has been keeping very quiet about its 4G plans over the past year, letting the other 3 major players freely roll out their respective 4G technologies - HSPA+ for T-Mobile, WiMax for Sprint, and LTE for Verizon. However, after the announcements at this morning's AT&T Developer Summit, it is clear AT&T is seriously stepping up its game.

According to Ralph de La Vega, AT&T's CEO, AT&T has already completed the upgrade of the whole mobile broadband network to HSPA+, or Evolved HSPA, which is the same technology used by T-Mobile that currently offers theoretical speeds of about 21Mbps downstream. Unfortunately, just like with HSPA+ on T-Mobile, existing HSPA-compatible devices will not be able to utilize HSPA+, but AT&T is set to remedy that with a whole lineup of HSPA+ ready flagship Android devices - Motorola ATRIX 4G, Samsung Infuse 4G, HTC Inspire 4G, a Motorola tablet, and others. Overall, AT&T is set to release 12 Android phones in 2011, between 5 and 7 of them being HSPA+.

Now here's the kicker - AT&T is continuing to upgrade its network and will also roll out LTE starting in the 2nd half of 2011 and continuing into 2013. Phones, tablets, and LTE modems are coming starting the 2nd half of 2011 as well. Considering that other carriers are concentrating on just 1 4G technology, it is pretty impressive that AT&T is gunning for 2. My only concern is that dual, incompatible 4G technologies with different area coverage be confusing to consumers, but it's a small price to pay for having 2 great options rather than 1.

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Credit: Engadget, which seems to have 85 billion employees covering every square foot of CES

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • robbbbb

    On the Samsung where it says largest display...uhh.. I thought the dell streak had a 5" screen? Am I wrong? Either way im due for an upgrade in a few days and im torn between the sammy and motorola phones.. (the HTC doesn't have a ffc so im not interested)

    • Tony

      My money would be on the Sammy, better display resolution. I have the Captivate, well worth the 149.99 I paid.

  • Deon

    Did they really release HSPA+ on their ENTIRE network w/o telling anybody, instead of doing it City by City like Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are doing? Wow! And now they'll have Dual 4G technology, T-Mobile's + Verizon's. Yeah, I know HSPA+ isn't true 4G but the speeds are comparable. It's really impressive if they did their entire network with HSPA+ and now they'll be looking into LTE. They may just have killed the wireless-data-market.