While AT&T won't say when Spokane and North Idaho will have its own version of 4G broadband services, the company is presenting a visual map of plans covering the next several years, using a before-and-after map scheme.
Both maps come from the marketing and communications department of AT&T.
Dark blue areas indicate 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. The map on the left is the projected 4G rollout -- by 2013 -- for Washington and North Idaho. For now, AT&T is providing its version of 4G only in the Puget Sound. There is no 4G service in Spokane, though Verizon Wireless has said it plans to deliver it later this year.
The right-side map proposes a significant AT&T 4G rollout across Eastern Washington and parts of North Idaho. Specifically the rollout looks to expand service up toward the Canadian border, and across the upper Panhandle to Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry.
No date is mentioned by the company for that investment, and it will be interesting if AT&T sticks to its plan to reach those less-populated areas.
Important: the right-side map only reflects what could happen if federal regulators approve the purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T.The map includes this wording: "The AFTER map shows the additional 4G LTE deployment that will occur due to (the T-Mobile) deal by the period ending five years after the deal closes."
AT&T spokeswoman Colleen Smith added this comment about the plan and the value of the merger:
“AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers will see service improvements including better voice quality and data service. At closing, AT&T will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction. The acquisition will increase AT&T’s network density by approximately 30 percent in some of its most populated areas, without constructing new cell towers."