updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed October 12, 2011
AT&T will use circuit-switch fallback technology
AT&T chief executive Ralph de la Vega told CNET its 4G LTE handsets will be the thinnest on the market. The handsets are due to arrive this fall, and AT&T waited for the technology that allows them to be thing while providing a longer battery life. The exec said its circuit-switch fallback tech and relates to the handset switching to 3G coverage when its leaves the 4G coverage area.
Verizon, for example, uses two radios to access the 3G and 4G network, respectively, adding bulk to devices as each requires their own power source as well. Verizon does have a head-start in the field, however, as it will offer 4G LTE in 175 cities in November and offers five smartphones. AT&T is only in five thus far and only offers a USB modem, a wireless hotspot and a Jetstream tablet.
A leaked Qualcomm chipset roadmap indicates the company's chipsets will have 4G LTE radios built-in, which should improve battery life.