AT&T 4G LTE Network Live Testing Variable: First Two Devices

Back in May we gave you news of AT&T’s upcoming 4G LTE network and there will be many AT&T customers among you who will be keen to hear more about this. We have news today that the service went live in Chicago at the weekend for testing. The LTE service has not been officially announced live yet for any region but it seems that initial download speed tests have impressed, although the results were variable.

Images from the live tests and results from speed tests have been supplied to Zach Epstein over on BGR, from a source who took part in the tests. We should point out that while it’s being tested the LTE service is proving rather sporadic. Speed tests in the Chicago area were carried out using the AT&T Elevate 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. Devices used were an iPhone 4 and a MacBook connected to Elevate through WiFi and download speeds peaked at 13Mbps with upload speeds at around 2Mbps.

BGR makes the point that saying that although the download speeds were fairly impressive these results do not necessarily reflect the service that subscribers will receive when the 4G LTE network goes live officially. Currently the network is still at the pre-launch state and the Elevate only received 3 bars of service at best. The first two 4G LTE devices launched by AT&T were the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G priced at $69.99, as used above, and the USBConnect Momentum 4G priced at $49.99. Both were launched on August 21 and the prices quoted are with the usual two-year contract after a mail-in rebate, as reported in another BGR article.

When the AT&T 4G LTE service goes live it’s expected first in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonia and by the end of the year should be available in 15 markets. Chris Ziegler of This is My Next also tried out the live AT&T LTE service in Chicago using the Elevate 4G and didn’t fare so well with speed results. The hotspot only received one bar of signal strength and subsequent results were only 6 or 7Mbps download speed and 1 to 2Mbps upload. However Ziegler points out that this is not necessarily a reason to worry as the service is purely in testing and not yet ready for launch, as pointed out by BGR.

You may also be interested in our recent article on the HTC Holiday which will be one of the first 4G LTE handsets for AT&T. Are you waiting for AT&T’s 4G LTE network to officially go live? What do you think about this initial feedback? Let us know with your comments.