On Sunday, November 6 AT&T stores will begin selling the HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, both of which feature both HSPA+ and LTE support.
Existing AT&T customers may be confused by the new options since AT&T has been selling phones advertised as having 4G capabilities for several months. That's because there are multiple standards marketed as 4G.
HSPA+ is an extension of 3G standards which was AT&T's original choice for 4G service due to the relatively low upgrade costs. An aggressive advertising campaign from Verizon touting the advantages of their LTE, or Long Term Evolution, 4G network forced AT&T to rethink those plans.
Their first LTE markets went live in September. Unless you are in one of the handful of areas where AT&T has already upgraded their network to add LTE capability, there is no advantage to buying one of these new phones right now.
Currently those markets include Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, and Chicago, plus 2 Georgia markets (Atlanta & Athens), 3 more markets in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, & Dallas-Fort Worth).
To find out if your area is covered before investing in a new phone, you can check out AT&T's coverage map on their website.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 1 Nov 2011 9:12