AT&T to boost 3G speeds more than fivefold by 2009

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
AT&T said Wednesday it plans to boost the speed of its 3G wireless network to speeds of 20 megabits per second in 2009, paving the way for over-the-air downloads that are more than five times faster than what customers can achieve today.



Speaking at the Morgan Stanley's annual Communications Conference, the company's mobility chief Ralph de la Vega said engineers already have a version of AT&T's HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) 3G network up and running in the labs at speeds of 7.2 megabits per second, or approximately double the theoretical throughput of its existing network.



"It's clear to us that we are in the very early stages of what I would call a wireless data revolution," he said.



AT&T plans to transition to HSPA release 7 sometime in 2009, which will deliver even bigger speeds "exceeding 20 megabits per second," according to the executive. He said the upgrade will require few if any hardware modifications to the company's infrastructure and will instead be a smooth transition achieved largely through a software upgrade to its electronics.



De la Vega also said that his firm has "a clear and logical path" to 700MHz 4G access via the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard in the 2010 timeframe which should again increase speeds fivefold to nearly 100 megabits per second.



"[The] steps to get there are very logical and they're all building on the same GSM technology that we've been using for a while," he explained. "LTE will allow for backwards compatibility to GSM and HSPA, which is a great benefit to customers. And our path forward to LTE allows us to get there step-by-step, with interim steps that will deliver more and more speeds everyday."



De la Vega was similarly excited about AT&T's growth opportunities in the smart phone market given upcoming handsets from Apple and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, noting that just 16 percent of the company's postpaid customers currently own integrated devices.



"So upside on further penetration is substantial," he said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    retroneoretroneo Posts: 240member
    Wireless has such a great roadmap right now.



    HSPA is already at 14.4Mbit in networks today and HSPA+ 28.8Mbit will be running in many by years end. Still waiting for more devices to catch up to these high speeds that the networks offer. Evolved HSPA 42Mbit will be readily available in many markets before the end of 2009.



    HSPA+ also offers 50% increased continuous talk time / internet usage as well as these great increases in speed.



    LTE offers speeds of up to 326.4Mbit/s in the downlink and 86.4Mbit uplink in its first release for each 20MHz spectrum slice. The first LTE networks will be operational in 2010.



    The contracts for these network upgrades are being awarded with such aggressive time schedules it's amazing.



    The Telstra HSPA network in Australia was built in just 10 months from contract to mass launch covering 98 percent of the population, and an average of a base station built every 25 minutes day and night over that period.
  • Reply 2 of 89
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Sounds like hype to me. They may have (some) of their towers updated to it, but no handsets will support it. Where are all the HSUPA phones? It will require more processing to support which means more power consumptions which means that handset makers will leave it until Moore's Law catches up and we get to 22nm chips or something. In other words 2010+.



    Also it's 3GPP release 7 and its called HSPA Evolved.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Honestly, I don't even care so much about the specific technology used for wireless broadband, I just don't want the fucking cell companies to be the gatekeepers.



    If in 5-10 years we're still paying for minutes, and getting overage charges, and signing 2-year contracts, and buying software and ringtones and such from these people, it doesn't matter how fast it is, it's going to suck.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    All the hype of this and that and users' fail to read and understand the fact that AT&T does not guarantee any speed increases (certainly no guarantees of the highest speeds they advertise); AT&T only states that their system can attain said speeds.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    Honestly, I don't even care so much about the specific technology used for wireless broadband, I just don't want the fucking cell companies to be the gatekeepers.



    If in 5-10 years we're still paying for minutes, and getting overage charges, and signing 2-year contracts, and buying software and ringtones and such from these people, it doesn't matter how fast it is, it's going to suck.



    This is why we all love WiMAX but don't know it yet. Its the alternative to the mobile phone hegemony, championed by Intel and one day by the entire computing industry. Phone companies suck really badly.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    drhamaddrhamad Posts: 24member
    Quote:

    AT&T said Wednesday it plans to boost the speed of its 3G wireless network to speeds of 20 megabits per second in 2009, paving the way for over-the-air downloads that are more than five times faster than what customers can achieve today.



    So what you're saying is that when the network speeds are five times faster, you can download five times faster? I'm shocked.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    This is why we all love WiMAX but don't know it yet. Its the alternative to the mobile phone hegemony, championed by Intel and one day by the entire computing industry. Phone companies suck really badly.



    Championed by Intel, but run by Sprint....the suckiest phone company of them all. So dont tout WiMax as the savior just yet...
  • Reply 8 of 89
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    This is why we all love WiMAX but don't know it yet. Its the alternative to the mobile phone hegemony, championed by Intel and one day by the entire computing industry. Phone companies suck really badly.



    WiMax has been a up and coming tech for so long now that I have very little interest in it now. I've made money on Clearwire (thank you Melgross) but the numerous deals that have fallen through and the excessive and up and down nature of the stock isn't looking promising.
  • Reply 9 of 89
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    WiMax has been a up and coming tech for so long now that I have very little concern for it. I've made money on Clearwater (thank you Melgross) but the numerous deals taht have fallen through and the excessive and up and odwn noture of the stock isn't looking promising.



    Yeah it takes a long time, but they're still ahead of the GSM people on 4G technology. I think the point is that its being pushed hard by a very large and powerful industry, much bigger and more capable that the phone companies and it will eventually compete with the phone companies and benefit us (the consumers).
  • Reply 10 of 89
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,998member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "It's clear to us that we are in the very early stages of what I would call a wireless date revolution," he said.



    Revolution? I thought a lot of people were already dating wirelessly? I guess the increased bandwidth will allow for on-the-go HD video chats, but that's hardly a revolution...

    Quote:

    "So upside on further penetration is substantial," he said.



    On second thought...
  • Reply 11 of 89
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post


    Revolution? I thought a lot of people were already dating wirelessly? I guess the increased bandwidth will allow for on-the-go HD video chats, but that's hardly a revolution...



    Thanks.



    K
  • Reply 12 of 89
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    "a clear and logical path" to 700MHz 4G access via the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard in the 2010 timeframe



    In typical Apple fanboy fashion, I'm eschewing the 3G iPhone and starting the online clamor for the 4G iPhone.



    When do you think it will be released? Apple needs to get on their 4G game if they plan on enticing customers. Apple needs to get off their high horse and start work on the 4G iPhone.



    If I buy a 3G iPhone this summer, I will sue Apple for tricking me into getting a 3G iPhone when the 4G one is only 2 or 3 years away.
  • Reply 13 of 89
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by merdhead View Post


    Yeah it takes a long time, but they're still ahead of the GSM people on 4G technology. I think the point is that its being pushed hard by a very large and powerful industry, much bigger and more capable that the phone companies and it will eventually compete with the phone companies and benefit us (the consumers).



    They do seem to be ahead in 4G right now, but I wonder if other 4G technology has the potential to be deployed faster and cheaper than WiMax. I guess we'll see shortly, I just hope it's a worldwide standard (or at least a system that is congruent among all national carriers), not the fractured system we currently have.
  • Reply 14 of 89
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    In typical Apple fanboy fashion, I'm eschewing the 3G iPhone and starting the online clamor for the 4G iPhone.



    When do you think it will be released? Apple needs to get on their 4G game if they plan on enticing customers. Apple needs to get off their high horse and start work on the 4G iPhone.



    If I buy a 3G iPhone this summer, I will sue Apple for tricking me into getting a 3G iPhone when the 4G one is only 2 or 3 years away.



    I'm sure there are some that are already calling HSPA an obsolete tech.
  • Reply 15 of 89
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    I'll believe it when I see it. That's faster than DSL, cable and even FiOS. If they can manage 20Mbps or faster, I might consider dumping cable modem and look for a phone that can act as a high-speed modem for my computer. Although it would mean getting in bed with the devil again: AT&T.
  • Reply 16 of 89
    How about getting reliable VOICE COVERAGE on the PA Turnpike? My girlfriend's Verizon Phone had 5/5 bars of EVDO service most of the way from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, and I was lucky if I had any service at all.



  • Reply 17 of 89
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    WiMax has been a up and coming tech for so long now that I have very little concern for it. I've made money on Clearwater (thank you Melgross) but the numerous deals taht have fallen through and the excessive and up and odwn noture of the stock isn't looking promising.



    I'm pretty sure you meant Clearwire (CLWR)...
  • Reply 18 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    Honestly, I don't even care so much about the specific technology used for wireless broadband, I just don't want the fucking cell companies to be the gatekeepers.



    If in 5-10 years we're still paying for minutes, and getting overage charges, and signing 2-year contracts, and buying software and ringtones and such from these people, it doesn't matter how fast it is, it's going to suck.



    Jay man - don't be depressed like that. Someone NEEDS to provide a network and it aint going to be an NGO, e.V. , ASBL, VZW and whatever else does not a lucrative raison d'etre.

    Building a network does cost money, they people who work on the network and for the network do cost money and so forth. Granted they make good money as well. But for third party services the market WILL auto regulate itself
  • Reply 19 of 89
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimXugle View Post


    How about getting reliable VOICE COVERAGE on the PA Turnpike? My girlfriend's Verizon Phone had 5/5 bars of EVDO service most of the way from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, and I was lucky if I had any service at all.







    The real questions is what are you doing out there? Who wants to be in Harrisburg or Pittsburgh?



    .



    .



    .



    (Sorry, I'm from Philly)
  • Reply 20 of 89
    ktappektappe Posts: 769member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    If in 5-10 years we're still paying for minutes, and getting overage charges, and signing 2-year contracts, and buying software and ringtones and such from these people, it doesn't matter how fast it is, it's going to suck.



    This is another one of those things I can foresee the iPhone changing. Consider: the 3G iPhone is, by many reports, going to be sold unlocked worldwide except here. Demand here for the unlocked versions will be high so that you can use them on any carrier. As a result, doesn't that mean the flow of iPhones out of the U.S. is going to reverse and start them flowing in? Steve Jobs won't be able to stop that, and as a result you'll get non-AT&T carriers gladly giving you laxer plans so they can steal iPhone business away from AT&T. Don't expect this all to happen overnight, but it'd surprise me if you didn't see movement this way by 2009.
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