Plans LTE for next yearAT&T announced recently that it had just performed a new upgrade to its 3G network, and that its users all around the United States could enjoy the High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology on its airwaves. The new upgrade should enable the wireless carrier's users to enjoy an enhanced experience when it comes to mobile broadband, and AT&T also notes that the upgrade should also result in faster speeds and increases network efficiency. The HSPA 7.2 technology has been deployed over AT&T's network in the form of a software update, the carrier also added.
At the same time, the mobile phone operator further revealed that it planned on enhancing the cell site backhaul connections during 2010 and 2011, something that, coupled with the HSPA 7.2 technology, should offer users peak maximum speeds of 7.2 megabits per second. The company has already started the deployment of backhaul in six markets in the US, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami. According to AT&T, most of its network should see HSPA 7.2-capable backhaul before the end of the ongoing year, yet deployments will continue in 2011 too, it also mentioned.
“We are focused on providing our customers with the industry’s best combination of mobile broadband speed, performance, coverage and available devices,” said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations, who announced the network updates at the Citigroup 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference. “As we light up new backhaul connections across the country, we’re able to deliver a meaningful 3G speed boost for millions of customers who are already using HSPA 7.2-compatible devices. At the same time, we’re also looking to the future with these backhaul enhancements, which will support our move to next-generation LTE technology starting in 2011.”
AT&T's customers can enjoy the HSPA 7.2 technology on a number of 10 handsets at the moment, including the iPhone 3G S, yet it seems that more compatible phones are set to arrive during 2010. Moreover, the HSPA 7.2 upgrade is expected to pave the way towards the future deployment of LTE that AT&T intends to start deploying in 2011, after testing it during 2010. “Even as we look forward to LTE, 3G will be the predominant mobile broadband network technology worldwide for smartphones for the next few years. AT&T’s strategy will deliver faster 3G speeds over the next two years, while also allowing us to build the foundation for the LTE future," Stankey stated as well.