Tuesday, September 8, 2009

AT&T Confirms HSPA 7.2 Rollout in Six Cities in '09

AT&T confirmed its rollout plans for High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology, saying it will 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. The upgraded network platform allows for theoretical peak speeds of 7.2Mbps. Typical real-world downlink and uplink speeds will be lower.

AT&T expects to have six HSPA 7.2-compatible smartphones in its device portfolio by the end of the year, as well as two new LaptopConnect cards.

To support its HSPA 7.2 initiative, AT&T is deploying additional backhaul capacity to cell sites. This backhaul capacity, including thousands of new connections this year, is being designed to support not only HSPA 7.2, but also 4G LTE, which AT&T plans to begin trialing in 2010 and deploying in 2011.

"Our deployment of HSPA 7.2 and supporting backhaul connectivity will enable our customers to continue to ride the leading edge of emerging devices and thousands of mobile applications," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations. "Our network is based on the predominant technology platform used by operators worldwide and has been tested by today's most popular devices. That experience gives us an important advantage in developing and deploying new technologies to meet customers' future needs."

The HSPA network upgrades are part of the company's stated plans to invest between $17 billion and $18 billion this year, more than two-thirds of which is going toward broadband and wireless. Other key projects include:

  • An initiative to substantially expand the wireless spectrum serving 3G customers in hundreds of markets across the country, using high-quality 850 MHz spectrum.

  • Addition of about 2,000 new cell sites in 2009

  • Enabling widespread access to the AT&T Wi-Fi network -- the largest in the country with more than 20,000 hotspots in all 50 states

  • Preparation for field trials of 4G LTE wireless networks next year

See also