Ma Bell is still playing catch-up when it comes to following Verizon’s lead in launching a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network — but devoted AT&T customers who want to upgrade to the company’s 4G option may want to take advantage of the newest deal, where AT&T is giving away a 4G smartphone with the purchase of a 4G tablet and the obligiatory 2-year contracts.
As part of the LTE news blitz Monday AT&T also announced the forthcoming addition of six new markets for its LTE service, bringing the total of live markets to 15 when the services come online Nov. 20. The new markets, according to AT&T, are Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Indianpolis and Charlotte, N.C. The Vegas announcement is the most fun, making Sin City without a doubt the most connected place in the U.S., with either WiMAX or LTE 4G services from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint/Clearwire and MetroPCS.
The new LTE tablet, also available on Nov. 20, is the Samsung Galxy Tab 8.9, named for its 8.9-inch screen. Its price with a 2-year contract is $479.99, but if you sign a 2-year contract for a phone you can get that free, either the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket or Samsung Galaxy S II. It also looks like you need to sign up for separate data plans for both the tablet and the phones; too bad, because this promotion could have been a cool way for AT&T to introduce the family plan or one-plan-for-multiple devices idea that everyone keeps talking about, but nobody introduces. I guess we will have to wait for innovation on pricing.