Supporting this HSPA 7.2 initiative is AT&T's ongoing deployment of additional backhaul capacity to cell sites. These backhaul connections add critical capacity to the network to support today's unprecedented growth in mobile data traffic as well as the future demands of next-generation 4G networks.
AT&T plans to 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 experienced by customers with upgraded 3G will be less than the theoretical peak and will vary based on a number of factors, including location, device, and overall traffic on the local wireless network at a given time.
"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."