AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega gave a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show Tuesday in Las Vegas and talked about his company accelerating its LTE (long term evolution) wireless network deployment.
He said AT&T's new high speed network will launch later this year and will be complete by 2013. Verizon launched its LTE network late last year. LTE promises to bring home-like broadband speeds to wireless phones and devices.
de la Vega also touted AT&T's expanding 3G network variant, called HSPA+, that allows what he called "4G speeds" now. He also talked about 20 new 4G devices coming this year, including modems, tablets and mobile hotspots as well as phones.
One phone not on his list? Apple's uber popular iPhone.
He included Apple on the list of companies set to launch LTE devices in 2012. Apple has typically let technology mature until it drops its hardware for it. The Cupertino, Calif, company did the same thing with the original iPhone, waiting a year before taking it to 3G.
This would seem to mean that the upcoming Verizon iPhone, which some analysts feel is just weeks away now, will be 3G only and will remain that way, even when iPhone 5 debuts later this year.
It will be interesting to see if Verizon customers have to wait for iPhone 5 until June, and that any announcement upcoming from Verizon is simply "Wait til summer."
In any event, I'd be loathe to buy an iPhone 4 in February or March knowing iPhone 5 is coming in June.
The plot thickens.
UPDATE: AT&T has issued a statement that no specific iPhone/LTE announcements were made at the keynote and there was some confusion over 4G and LTE 4G.
Bottom line customers are going to be confused as some companies, like AT&T and T-Mobile, push their updated 3G networks as 4G while Verizon and to a lesser extent Sprint push next gen networks, also calling them 4G.
Below is the video from a website claiming it has iPhone 5 or Verizon iPhone 4. Take it for what it's worth