informa
/
1 MIN READ
Commentary

AT&T Completes Phase Of 3G Tower Upgrades

AT&T announced on Tuesday that they completed software upgrades in all of their 3G towers. This will set the stage for faster 3G speeds and higher capacities as upgrades in 2010 and 2011 are implemented. Basically, the anxiously awaited High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 network is well underway. The end user won't see improvements today, but they are coming.
AT&T announced on Tuesday that they completed software upgrades in all of their 3G towers. This will set the stage for faster 3G speeds and higher capacities as upgrades in 2010 and 2011 are implemented. Basically, the anxiously awaited High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 network is well underway. The end user won't see improvements today, but they are coming.AT&T's press release said that after testing the initial upgrades in some towers, they decided to roll it out to all of the towers as soon as possible. This process just finished.

The next step is to enhance the wired portion of the network that connects all of the towers. This will be mostly fiber. Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami will be the first cities where the HSPA 7.2 network is activated.

This upgrade also sets the stage for the next generation network, LTE, though that won't start until at least 2011.

The question is will AT&T get the network upgraded fast enough to forestall a massive exodus to a competing network should they lose their iPhone exclusivity? The iPhone isn't the only smartphone on the carrier's network, but it is far and away the most popular and has an unusually high percentage of big bandwidth consumption and is largely the cause of AT&T's wireless woes. Hopefully consumers will start to see the benefits of the new network soon.