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htc_vivid_samsung_skyrocket_att_LTENew York City will officially get access to AT&T LTE 4G network this month, as will several other new markets, the company announced today.

AT&T also said it expects record sales for its fourth quarter. The company sold 6 million phones in the first two months of the quarter (thanks to the iPhone 4S, of course), which means it will definitely break its current quarterly record of 6.1 million phones.

That’s not too surprising, since AT&T managed to sell a whopping 1 million iPhone 4S units in its first five days available. Altogether, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units in its first weekend, and sales through the quarter are expected to soar well past 25 million. AT&T will definitely make up a big chunk of those sales.

Research firm BTIG estimates that Apple will sell around 8.7 million smartphones this quarter. “Our estimate of 8.7 million smartphone sales in Q4 2011 and the disclosure by AT&T today implies smartphone sales of roughly 600,000 per week for the month of December, an achievable number given the pace of holiday sales,” BTIG wrote in a blog post today.

If those estimates hold true, BTIG says that AT&T’s smartphone penetration (the amount of subscribers who have smartphones) should reach 56 percent by the end of the year and 68 percent by the end of 2012.

By the end of the year, AT&T says it will have 70 million people in the U.S. covered by its LTE network. The company launched its LTE 4G network in just 5 cities this past September. That meant it had some major catching up do with Verizon’s LTE network, which now covers 186 million people in over 175 cities.

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