AT&T recently sent e-mails to members of the tech press informing them of a big announcement coming July 16. We’re hearing that the company isn’t planning a big event in a city like you’d see with a smartphone launch, which likely means AT&T will simply issue a press release on that day.
The tagline on the e-mail reads “what’s next in wireless” which further solidifies the belief that we won’t see a new handset. Instead, many in the industry believe AT&T plans to reveal details about its upcoming LTE-Advanced network.
If that is indeed the topic of next week’s announcement, it could be a significant boon for AT&T as telecoms in the US (AT&T included) are still in the process of rolling out regular LTE. AT&T could get a huge head start on the competition but truth be told, LTE-Advanced is still at least a year away.
The world’s first LTE-Advanced network launched just last month in Seoul, South Korea. During a public demonstration of the technology, a special version of the Galaxy S4 that’s compatible with the new network was able to hit download speeds of 102Mbps. That’s roughly 10 times faster than the average broadband connection the US.
If LTE-Advanced isn’t in the cards yet, AT&T may alternately use the opportunity to announce plans for Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Verizon recently announced plans to roll out the capability on their network nationwide next year so this is certainly a possibility.