The other five regions are Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami. (See earlier mention from May, ”7.2 Mbps Internet speeds coming to AT&T mobile this year.“)
The company doesn’t link the upgrade to negative reports from iPhone users. But AT&T mentions in a press release that its wireless traffic has quadrupled in the past year, and the upgrade is just “part of AT&T’s ongoing efforts to drive innovation and investment to lead the industry in delivering the benefits of smartphones and mobile broadband for customers.”
iPhone and other AT&T smartphone users can look forward to faster Internet, with speeds up to 7.2 megabits per second. That’s faster than some home broadband service.
But this isn’t the next generation 4G service being tested by Verizon and Sprint in other parts of the country. This is High Speed Packet Access 7.2, sometimes called Turbo 3G. AT&T’s plans to begin testing 4G (using Long Term Evolution technology, or LTE) next year and will offer 4G service in 2011.
HSPA requires a software upgrade. This is supported by souped-up cell sites, which are being linked by fiber-optic cables for to improve speeds. HSPA is expected to be the fastest mobile broadband offered by any wireless company this year, said AT&T.
Theoretical speeds hit 7.2 mbps but that is with ideal conditions and usually in a lab. In reality, expect something slower. Just like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless technologies, HSPA speeds are affected by location, the device and overall traffic on the wireless network.
AT&T plans to roll out the faster HSPA service to the rest of the nation by the end of 2010. By the end of 2011, 90 percent of its existing 3G network will get the HSPA boost. As part of the launch, AT&T will offer six compatible smartphones plus two new LaptopConnect cards.
Recent 3G and 4G news: