How do you make a blazing-fast 3G (third-generation) mobile broadband network even better? You make it faster. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T - News) today announced a more than 20 percent increase to the top end of the company's typical 3G network downlink speed range and a 50 percent increase to the top end of the typical uplink speed range for wireless laptop card customers(1). The upgrades are results of recent network enhancements, including the deployment of High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) technology across all existing 3G markets before the end of June.
AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network is available in more than 275 major U.S. metropolitan areas. Later this month, AT&T will become the first U.S. carrier to have fully deployed High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology across its entire 3G network. By year-end, the company plans to offer 3G service in nearly 350 major metropolitan U.S. areas.
The new typical wireless broadband speeds for LaptopConnect customers(1):
-- Downlink - Between 700 Kbps (kilobits per second) and 1.7 Mbps (megabits per second), formerly 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps
-- Uplink - Between 500 Kbps and 1.2 Mbps, formerly 500 to 800 Kbps
Customers who use AT&T's LaptopConnect wireless cards can use these new speeds to access large files and multimedia applications faster than ever before(1). The new typical speed ranges reflect the results of recent measurements performed during thousands of tests in multiple markets.
The number of AT&T LaptopConnect subscribers increased more than 83 percent between the first quarters of 2007 and 2008, showing strong demand for on-the-go data use.
Between 2005 and the end 2008, AT&T will have invested more than $20 billion in network improvements and upgrades -- an average of $5 billion a year. The company's HSPA network is in the best position among American carriers to grow in line with customer demand, evolving to HSPA+ and providing next-generation speeds through a software upgrade without costly investments across the breadth of the network. As HSPA technology evolves between 2009 and 2010 to HSPA+, peak speeds could reach 20 Mbps. AT&T plans to adopt LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology to reach even higher speeds in the longer term.
(1) LaptopConnect customers must be using one of AT&T's four current devices that support HSUPA technology or a laptop with embedded HSUPA technology. The four devices are: AT&T USBConnect 881, Sierra Wireless AirCard 881, Option GT Ultra and Option GT Ultra Express