AT&T Points to LTE, but Stays Open to WiMAX

AT&T has a decision to make: WiMAX or LTE. LTE is the forward migration path for existing GSM and UMTS networks to upgrade to 4G. However, WiMAX is also an option that AT&T has already invested heavily in.

BellSouth, now part of AT&T, has already launched test-type WiMAX networks in several areas. Sprint has already adopted WiMAX as their next national network. However, now that Cingular has been absorbed into AT&T, the company is left undecided as to the future… until this week, the company has remained silent on how to move forward.

This week, Chris Hill, AT&T’s Vice President of their Government Mobility project (the recent winner of several of the government contracts) spoke out on the matter. He stated that AT&T’s current roadmap heads to LTE, and not WiMAX. However, he also confirmed that the company was looking at using WiMAX for backhaul (providing bandwidth to the towers themselves).

Mr. Hill followed by saying: “LTE provides similar throughputs, so we’re taking a wait-and-see approach to WiMAX. We just don’t see the value proposition for mobile WiMAX.”