AT&T Announces Rollout Plans for 7.2 Mbps 3G Service

AT&T today announced its plans for rolling out 7.2 Mbps 3G data service on its network. Deployment will begin in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami, with service in those cities beginning by the end of the year. Service will be extended over the following two years to cover approximately 90% of the current U.S. 3G network area.

AT&T plans to begin deployment of HSPA 7.2 in six major U.S. cities, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami, with initial service availability expected in these markets by the end of the year. All told, the company plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to reach about 90 percent of its existing 3G network footprint with HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2011.

AT&T announced in late May that it would be deploying the technology, which doubles the theoretical speed of its existing 3G network as an interim step toward LTE (4G) offerings scheduled to begin rolling out in 2011.

Apple's iPhone 3GS, released in June, does support the faster 7.2 Mbps download speed being deployed, although it is apparently unable to support the faster upload speeds associated with the new standard.

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