AT&T sees big boost for 3G speeds

AT&T says its 3G data network could reach download speeds of 20 Mbps by 2009, according to a report from AppleInsider Wednesday.

The report quoted Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Wireless President and CEO, telling attendees at a Morgan Stanley communications conference that AT&T engineers already have a HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) 3G network running in their labs, at speeds of 7.2 megabits per second (which is about double of AT&T’s wireless network capability today). The report adds that “AT&T plans to transition to HSPA release 7 sometime in 2009, which will deliver even bigger speeds “exceeding 20 megabits per second,” according to the executive.”

While AppleInsider quotes de la Vega as saying the upgrades will require “few if any hardware modifications to the company’s infrastructure,” there has been widespread questioning of late whether or not network providers have sufficient backhaul to supply the wireless-data demands. Of course, since this is theoretical at this point de la Vega doesn’t actually have to deliver the bits today. But it is good to see that AT&T, as we predicted in our recent WiMax report, has responded quickly to 4G challengers by stepping up the hype on their own planned offerings.

Paul Kapustka is the editor of Sidecut Reports, which has recently published a report on the state of WiMax deployments in the U.S.

About Paul Kapustka

Paul Kapustka is a longtime journalist who has spent more than two decades covering the information technology business, Paul most recently has been focusing on mobility and how it has changed the computing and collaborative landscape. His newest project outside Mobile Enterprise 360 is a research and analysis operation called WiFi Journal. He is also editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report, which covers the intersection of mobile technology and sports business. Paul is also the founder of Sidecut Reports, a research firm that covered the emergence of 4G technology in the cellular marketplace.