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AT&T Tests LTE Network ''Real World'' 4G Speeds

The wireless carriers in the U.S. love throwing around terms of 4G this and 4G that, but the real excitement is still just a little ways away.

AT&T is currently trialing its Long Term Evolution network at its Foundry space in Plano, Texas. Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOM got a first look at what sort of speeds AT&T's LTW could push and pull to and from the network.

On the download side, AT&T showed a 28.87 Mbps and for upstream reached speeds of 10.4 Mbps. That compares quite favorable against an iPhone 4 doing the same test on AT&T's 3G 7.2 Mbps HSPA network, which hit 3.77 Mbps downstream and 1.21 Mbps upstream.

Those speeds were achieved using the MIMO technology using the 700 MHz and 1700 MHz parts of the spectrum. The 1700 MHz band is one that AT&T wants more of, and is hoping to grab it through buying T-Mobile.

While LTE is sometimes advertised as being able to hit 150 Mbps, AT&T said its demonstration models more real-world scenarios. For comparison, Verizon advertises LTE speeds of 5-12 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.