Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AT&T Plans HSPA 7.2 Upgrade this Year, LTE Trial in 2010

AT&T will upgrade its 3G network with HSPA 7.2 Mbps technology beginning later this year and completion expected in 2011. The upgraded network platform could allow for theoretical peak speeds of 7.2Mbps. AT&T plans to begin LTE trials in 2010, with deployment beginning in 2011.


In addition to the planned speed upgrade, AT&T is enhancing its mobile broadband coverage by nearly doubling the wireless spectrum dedicated to 3G in most metropolitan areas to deliver stronger in-building reception and more overall network capacity. Also, AT&T is adding thousands of new cell site backhaul connections to support the higher mobile broadband speeds enabled by HSPA 7.2 and LTE.


"AT&T's network infrastructure gives us a tremendous advantage in that we're able to deliver upgrades in mobile broadband speed and performance with our existing technology platform," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With the array of smartphones, laptops and emerging devices taking advantage of AT&T's 3G network today, we know that customers are excited to experience higher mobile broadband speeds, and we are deploying the right technologies at the right times to help them get the most from that experience."


Other key mobile broadband projects in 2009 include:

Near-Doubling Radio Frequency Capacity. In 2008 and 2009 to date, high-quality 850 MHz spectrum has been deployed in more than half of AT&T's 3G network footprint to improve overall coverage and in-building reception, with additional markets planned for later in the year.


More Bandwidth to Cell Sites. We are adding fiber-optic connectivity and additional capacity to thousands of cell sites across the country this year, expanding the critical connections that deliver traffic from a cell site into the global IP backbone network. These upgrades will support the higher mobile broadband speeds enabled by both HSPA 7.2 and LTE.


More Cell Sites. Deployment of about 2,100 new cell sites across the country.


Wi-Fi Integration. Many AT&T smartphones will be able to switch seamlessly between 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. AT&T customers with qualifying smartphone and 3G LaptopConnect plans have access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi network - more than 20,000 hotspots, including locations in all 50 states - at no additional charge. AT&T's global Wi-Fi footprint covers more than 90,000 hotspots, and AT&T also can create permanent or temporary extended Wi-Fi zones in areas with high 3G network use, like a grouping of hotels or a festival.


MicroCells. Customer trials leading toward general availability of AT&T 3G MicroCell offerings, which utilize femtocells to enhance in-building wireless coverage.


Capital investment for these projects fits within AT&T's previously outlined expectation of total capital expenditures for 2009, targeted toward the $17 billion to $18 billion range.
http://www.att.com

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