AT&T 4G Review | HSPA+ Meets LTE

AT&T 4G Review | HSPA+ Meets LTE


AT&T 4G has evolved from a mostly HSPA+ network to 4G LTE coverage in 41 47 markets with plans to cover 95% of the U.S. population by the end of 2013.

While they lag behind Verizon’s 301 city 4G LTE footprint, things look promising with their most recent crowning by PCWorld as the nation’s fastest 4G network (for downloading).

With a plethora of postpaid, prepaid and international plans, AT&T’s 4G offerings are becoming well rounded.

Unlike Verizon or Sprint however, their device selection remains thin with only two 4G devices: The Elevate 4G mobile hotspot and the Momentum 4G USB Modem.

In this review, I cover:

  • AT&T 4G Plans | Postpaid, Prepaid & International
  • AT&T 4G Speed | Real Vs. Advertised
  • AT&T 4G Coverage | Ma’ Bell Vs. Big Red LTE
  • AT&T Elevate 4G Vs. Momentum 4G | Which Should You Get?

For comprehensive details on any of the above, see the individual sections below:


AT&T 4G Plans

AT&T 4G Data Plans | 2012

Compare postpaid, prepaid & international AT&T 4G plans to find the cheapest for your 4G tablet, mobile hotspot, USB modem or ultrabook.


AT&T 4G Speed

AT&T 4G Speed | HSPA+ & LTE

AT&T 4G speed is advertised as “download speeds of 5 – 12 Mbps & upload speeds of 2 – 5 Mbps.” But what do real world speed tests reveal?



AT&T 4G Coverage

AT&T 4G Coverage | LTE & HSPA+

While HSPA+ AT&T 4G coverage is widely available, its 41 47 market LTE footprint is playing catchup to Verizon’s current 301 cities.



AT&T Elevate 4G Vs. Momentum 4G

AT&T Elevate 4G vs. Momentum 4G

AT&T 4G mobile hotspots & USB modems lineup has shrunk to just the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G & USBConnect Momentum 4G. Which should you get?


Are you an AT&T 4G user?

If there’s anything you could go back and tell yourself before signing up, what would it be?

Let us know in the comments below.





  1. Sieggy says:

    This is actually off on a bit of a side issue, but I’m seeing research coming out of europe that indicates an uptick in brain and middle / inner ear cancers that appear to be related to cell usage. Since the amount of radiation received is subject to the inverse square law, what options are there for moving the radiating sources away from the body? For instance, on a USB modem, I can use a cable to move the antenna a fair distance away if using a laptop, but cell phones kind of have to be pressed next to your head . . . Even with a Bluetooth headset, you still have the cell phone next to your body, usually on your hip.

    Is anyone in the market considering a base unit that could be kept at a safe distance from the body with a lower frequency / power relay headset that would reduce the risk of microwave exposure? Something in a briefcase, even if it only had a 10′ range, would cut way back on exposure.

    When I power up / down my cell phone, I set it down and step back until it chimes that it’s connected or the lights go out, as I know it broadcasts max power then. I limit my usage as much as possible, and switch from ear to ear every few sentences . . . and keep the unit off when not actually using it. One of the reasons I’m concerned is not so much the initial research into the possible cell / cancer connection as I am the cell industry’s reaction to it . . . when I see basic research being derided and the researchers demonized, it fires up my paranoia circuitry.

    • Marc says:

      Hey Sieggy,

      You might be onto something according to this 2012 article:

      A simple solution is to use a wired (stereo) headset with the phone sitting on the desk or back pocket while on the go. As it turns out, the call quality experience on your end will also be much better than bluetooth without potential disruptions in the connection as experienced by bluetooth 2.1 connections (most smartphones with the exception of bluetooth 3.0 which is becoming more prevalent).

  2. Theron says:

    You can also get an air-tube headset, to avoid the copper wires of a conventional headset acting as an antenna, perhaps directing the energy onto your body.

    As for the phone’s emissions, I have been thinking that a metal backing to reflect its energy outwards would work. I picture a small piece of shielding between the phone and the user’s hip.

Leave a Courteous Reply to Theron