AT & T plans to beef up 3G network data rates
AT&T announced its ongoing rollout of 3G wireless broadband service would continue in 2008 to cover more markets, and also that it will begin to deploy a new variant of its 3G technology that promises to deliver faster data access rates.
AT&T said it intends to cover more than 80 additional cities with its High-Speed Downlink Packet Access/Universal Mobile Telephone System (HSDPA/UMTS) network. The 80-plus new markets would give AT&T coverage in 350 U.S. markets, including all of the Top 100 U.S. cities.
The company said it would complete the nation's first High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)-enabled network by the middle of the year (T-Mobile and Extreme Networks also use HSDPA technology).
AT&T’s current HSDPA network delivers downstream speeds ranging between 600 Kbps and 1.4 Mbps, and upstream speeds ranging from 500 to 800 Kbps.
HSDPA can be implemented in many ways, with various data rates that range up to a theoretical maximum of 14.4 Mbps on the downstream. The HSUPA variation has a theoretical upstream maximum of 5.76 Mbps.
AT&T hopes that the faster uplink speeds will appeal to business customers using AT&T's HSUPA-enabled laptops.
Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T's wireless unit, said the company has “a clear path to a 4G network that will meet the needs of our customers for years to come.”
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