The nation's largest carrier aims for 350 U.S. markets by the end of the year.
AT&T plans to complete its third-generation mobile broadband network by
the end of 2008, adding six markets to finish the national footprint of
High-Speed Uplink Packet Access technology. When completed, the network will be
available in 350 U.S.
According to a May 21 announcement by AT&T, the six markets include San
Jose, Calif.; San
San Antonio; Austin,
Texas; and Tulsa,
With the addition of HSUPA technology, which complements the company's existing
HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, AT&T 3G users will
have access to uplink speeds of between 500-800K bps. The new upload speeds work
with AT&T's 3G download capabilities, currently offering up to 1.4M bps
across all markets for customers who have capable devices, such as AT&T's
LaptopConnect service for wireless modems.
"The ability to quickly upload large files from a laptop is no longer a
luxury-it's a necessity," Kris Rinne, senior vice president of
architecture and planning for AT&T's wireless operations, said in a
statement. "By fully deploying HSUPA across our 3G footprint, we not only
meet the current needs of our customers but also lay the path for our continued
evolution to even faster wireless broadband capabilities."
The AT&T announcement comes just a week after Sprint
declared May 15 that its XOHM 3G mobile broadband network had cleared testing
and industry standards.
Sprint plans to begin service in the
Washington-Baltimore region by the end of 2008. Sprint's WiMax network is a
rival to AT&T's and Verizon Wireless' LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology.
XOHM President Barry West stirred the competitive pot by claiming that Sprint
has created a proven WiMax ecosystem that can "deliver this new technology
to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative."
AT&T said in its announcement the company has
invested more than $20 billion in network improvements and investments since
2005. AT&T recently turned off its older TDMA (Time Division Multiple
Access) network, allowing the company to reuse its 850MHz spectrum to expand
its 3G market.