AT&T lags VZW in LTE coverage, now calls its 3G-HSPA network "4G"

“We operate the nation’s largest 4G network, which today covers nearly 250 million people. That means more AT&T customers can access 4G speeds on the latest tablets and smartphones than customers on any other network,” said Alexa Kaufman, an AT&T spokeswoman after the announcement of Apple’s new LTE ready iPAD.

It’s interesting that AT&T calling its HSPA/HSPA+ network “4G” contradicts their grousing/ complaining when T-Mobile started doing that a couple of years ago! Yes, it’s all about marketing hype and gimmicks, but isn’t there a credibility loss when AT&T switches its definition of 4G when it’s behind VZW in LTE roll-outs/ coverage?  And LTE isn’t even true 4G, according to the original IMT Advanced definition of ITU-R (Only LTE Advanced and WiMAX 2.0 meet that true “4G” criteria).

A recent WSJ article stated that VZW would have a huge advantage over AT&T with the new LTE ready iPAD, AT&T countered by changing its definition of 4G!!!  This after, AT&T received more complaints than any wireless operator for terrible 3G service and dropped data connections!


Apple’s New iPAD a boon for VZ (video:)…

WSJ article with same title:…

Here is a selected cut & paste from that WSJ article:

“Verizon Wireless, a venture jointly owned byVerizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, is the country’s biggest wireless carrier by subscribers. It has invested heavily in its LTE network, which now covers more than 200 million people.AT&T, Verizon Wireless’s biggest competitor, is playing catch-up. Its LTE network covers 74 million people now.

Credit Suisse expects Verizon’s LTE network to cover 285 million people this year, with AT&T’s reaching about 170 million people. By end of 2013, Credit Suisse expects the gap to disappear with AT&T’s network covering 310 million people.  Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA plan to roll out LTE networks, but they are even further behind.”

Here, courtesy of the folks at Dell’Oro Group, is a rundown of the world’s largest LTE networks by number of people covered at the end of 2011:
Operator                Country    Millions of people covered
Verizon Wireless         USA               200
AT&T                          USA                 74
MetroPCS                   USA                 53
NTT DoCoMo             Japan               30
LG Uplus                     Korea              27
SK Telecom                 Korea              23
Deutsche Telekom        Germany        11
Rogers Wireless           Canada           10
Vodafone Germany      Germany          9
Telefonica O2               Germany          8
TeliaSonera                  Sweden            4
Net4Mobility                  Sweden            4
Korea Telecom             Korea               3