AT&T expands new data market to 6 more cities

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DALLAS (AP) ? AT&T Inc. said Monday that it is expanding its new wireless data network to six more cities, including Las Vegas and Oklahoma City.

On Sunday, the phone company is launching its high-speed “4G LTE” network in those cities, as well as in Kansas City, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Indianapolis. With these additions, 15 markets will have access to this network, which had been AT&T’s goal for the year. The company said it expects to make the service available to 70 million cellphone-using Americans by the end of the year.

Other markets already offering the network include AT&T’s hometown of Dallas, along with Atlanta and Chicago.

The new network offers roughly double the speeds of its older network and works on a handful of devices that AT&T sells, including the HTC Jetstream tablet and Vivid smartphone. Use of the network is a perk thrown in with existing data plans.

In September, AT&T network architecture and planning executive Kris Rinne said the network would provide downloads speeds of 5 megabits to 12 megabits per second. That’s enough to download a DVD-quality two-hour movie in 15 minutes. It’s in line with the speeds on Verizon’s LTE network, which launched late last year with separate data plans. AT&T’s older “4G” network provides top download speeds around 6 megabits per second.

AT&T shares rose 1 cent to $29.20 in after-hours trading. The stock finished regular trading down 23 cents at $29.19.