Despite not having an actual LTE network, AT&T is nonetheless soldiering on with the release of their first 4G LTE devices on August 21.
Following a recent carrier trend, the first LTE devices AT&T will release are not phones, but modems for laptops and other devices. The USBConnect Momentum 4G and the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will be available at both online and brick-and-mortar stores on Aug. 21. The already released LTE-ready USBConnect Adrenaline will be eligible for updates on Aug. 26.
Data plan pricing for data-only (no phones) mobile devices has been set at $50/mo. for 5GB, with each additional GB costing $10/mo. The first five markets to be blessed with AT&T LTE are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio; AT&T has given no launch date beyond saying they will be rolled out “this summer.”
The most immediate and obvious reason for LTE devices without an LTE network is marketing; AT&T can boast about their 4G LTE devices without actually having the network to support it, and most customers will be none the wiser. AT&T has never been shy about strategically marketing the 4G buzzword; they continue to refer to their 3G HSPA+ network as 4G. Those customers who have already purchased phones under this ruse should be advised that their HSPA+ plus phones will not be able to use AT&T’s new 4G LTE network with their devices.
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