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AT&T Expanding Their 3G Network in 2008

AT&T announced today that they will be deploying third generation (3G) wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities as part of its 2008 wireless network expansion plans.

This will bring 3G services to nearly 350 U.S. markets by the end of 2008, including the top 100 U.S. cities.

This news is relevant, in that Apple users AT&T as their exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. and has a multi-year commitment with them. One of the main criticisms of the iPhone when it was launched was a lack of 3G networking, which is typically much faster than the EGDE network that is presently offered with the iPhone.

AT&T's CEO confirmed that the 3G iPhone would become available in 2008, confirming comments by Steve Jobs at the original iPhone launch that Apple planned on making "3g phones and all sorts of other amazing things in the future". The reason that 3G was not included in the original iPhone was due to concerns about excessive battery usage:

When we looked at 3G, the chipsets were not low-enough power for what we were looking for. They were not integrated enough, so they took up too much physical space. We cared a lot about battery life and we cared a lot about physical size. Down the road, I'm sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision.