After launching its new 4G LTE service in Seattle days before the iPhone 5 launch, AT&T is now launching its faster data service in Tacoma, Washington, as well as Federal Way, Lakewood, Puyallup, and Auburn. Additionally, LTE expansion upgrades are now live in Seattle, Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Renton, Redmond, Tukwila, and Woodinville. AT&T plans to officially announce the enhancements tomorrow. Of course, you'll need an LTE-compatable AT&T device to take advantage of the faster speeds.
If there's one feature to sway AT&T iPhone customers over to Verizon, it's the fact that Big Red has launched LTE in a ton of markets while AT&T plays catch-up. Tonight, AT&T closed the gap a bit with the launch of its LTE network in both Seattle and Portland, two major metropolitan areas that may have otherwise seen a hefty exodus when the iPhone 5 launches this Friday. Being that Gear Live is based here in the Seattle area, we started getting reports from a bunch of readers that their Lumia 900 devices were all of a sudden showing LTE connectivity. Sure enough, we confirmed it with our own unit, and AT&T followed up with a press release letting everyone know that LTE was now live in both Seattle and Portland areas. Readers are seeing speeds as high as 22Mbps down and 12Mbps up.
We've reached out to AT&T for information on just how large the LTE deployment is in these two metropolitan areas, as Verizon definitely has the entire greater region in each area covered in LTE.
Read More | The Verge
Amazon had one final trick up its sleeve during today's Kindle event, showing off a new Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless built-in. The 8.9-inch Kindle tablet offers the same features as the base Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but packs in an AT&T 4G LTE modem and 32GB of storage space. Additionally, Amazon has worked in a killer deal for this model, as buyers can opt to pay a yearly $49.99 fee for 250 MB or 4G data per month. They'll also receive 20 GB of additional Amazon Cloud Drive storage and $10 in Amazon Appstore credit. 250 MB of monthly data may not sound like much, but it's an incredible deal at $50 per year. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE Wireless starts at $499. That's $130 more than the 32GB non-LTE model, but it's still much less than $$739 32GB iPad + Cellular tablet. You can order the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE now, and it'll ship November 20th.
Read More | Amazon Kindle HD 8.9" 4G LTE
AT&T, Microsoft, and Nokia are all making a big bet on the Lumia 900 Windows Phone, which launched on April 8 for $99 with two-year contract. That's a great deal, being that this is one of the first AT&T LTE devices, and the first major mainstream Nokia Windows Phone device to hit the US. Those who pre-order through Walmart get it at half price ($49 with contract,) and new AT&T customer walk away with the Nokia Lumia 900 for free. We got our Lumia 900 in a bit early, and we're working on getting our final review up. In the meantime, though, we've put together a Lumia 900 unboxing gallery showing off the hardware. Go ahead and take a look--it's a gorgeous device! When you're done with that, then head over and get a peek at our insanely thorough Lumia 900 review!
Gallery: Nokia Lumia 900 unboxing gallery
We've talked at length about how great we think Windows Phone 7 is, but regardless of how good it is, it hasn't translated into amazing sales. Microsoft hopes that changes on April 8th, as the company, along with Nokia and AT&T, are making a colossal bet on the Nokia Lumia 900 being the breakout device for Windows Phone. In fact, the phone just went on sale for pre-order today, and there are some great deals out there. First of all, the Lumia 900 is selling for $99 with two-year contract, which in and of itself is amazing. Further, if you pre-order from Walmart, you can get the device for $49.99 with two-year contract (online only.) Finally, if you're a new AT&T customer, you get a $100 rebate, making the phone free.
Customers who pre-order will have their Lumia 900 smartphones by April 6th, a full two days before they hit store shelves for the masses. Oh, and this is for the black and cyan models. The white Lumia 900 launches April 22. You just don't see deals like this right out of the gate for high-quality 4G LTE smartphones with 4.3-inch AMOLED displays and 8 megapixel auto-focus cameras with dual LED flash! If you're in the market for a new smartphone, you'll wanna take a long, hard look at this one. Pre-order at AT&T or Walmart.
Today AT&T is pushing forward with its 4G LTE deployment, lighting up 11 new markets with super-fast mobile broadband. Cities included in this rollout, which just so happens to double AT&T's LTE footprint, include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Boston. This brings its number of LTE-covered markets to 26, reaching 76 million people. That sounds great, but it's still nowhere near Verizon's 200 million people covered by its own 4G LTE network. Also, devices. AT&T is lacking in 4G devices. However, that's nothing that a little CES love can't fix next week.
Read More | AT&T
Whenever there's a major release of Android, Google likes to partner with a manufacturer on the release of a reference device for the platform, and it looks like the Nexus 4G may be that device for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when it ships later this year. We aren't totally sure that Nexus 4G will be the name of the device, but it will be the fourth-generation Nexus phone that Google fills to the brim with all sorts of goodness. What can we expect from this one? Well, how about a 720p display for starters, with a dual-core 1.2 GHz or 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor? 4G LTE support point to this one being a Verizon Wireless device (althought it may also launch as the first AT&T 4G LTE device,) and things are rounded out by 1 GB RAM, 1080p video recording, 5 megapixel rear camera, 1 megapixel front camera, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich goodness, all in an ultra-thin package.
Yeah, we know how good this sounds. Just remember, it's a rumor for now, and if it comes to fruition, don't expect to see it until around the September timeframe, right in line with the iPhone 5.
Read More | BGR