AT&T customers in five U.S. markets are getting a gift sometime this summer. The No. 2 carrier has announced Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas will be the first to receive its new LTE service, according to Gigaom.

John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Business Solutions made the announcement this morning at the Barclays Capital Global Communications, Media and Technology Conference.

In addition, AT&T is expected to rollout LTE in ten additional markets by the end of 2011.

According to John Donovan, AT&T Chief Technology Officer:

AT&T has delivered five mobile broadband speed upgrades in recent years, including our HSPA+ deployment last year. And average nationwide speeds on the AT&T network have increased — more than 40 percent over the past two years alone.

The next network evolution will arrive this summer with the addition of LTE in five markets – Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and San Antonio. We plan to add another 10 or more markets in the second half of the year, and cover 70 million Americans with LTE by year-end. We also have plans to add 20 4G devices to our robust device portfolio this year, with some of those being LTE capable.

Although this is great news for AT&T customers living in those areas, it comes with one caveat. The next generation iPhone (4S/5) is NOT expected to be compatible with LTE and today’s news seems to confirm that assumption. Would Apple release an LTE handset usable in only five locations? Not a chance, in our opinion.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.