AT&T Plans to Double 3G Speeds

AT&T is doubling the download capacity of its HSPA 3G network

AT&T is doubling the download capacity of its HSPA 3G network just before a new iPhone device is expected to launch. The new speeds take AT&T's capacity from 3.6 Mbps to 7.2 Mbps for 3G devices. Called HSPA+, the tweaked network is currently in two test markets and will roll out across the country later this year, according to Telephony Online.

The news of increased 3G capacity from AT&T comes less than two months before Apple plans to launch the third iPhone operating system at the World Wide Developer's Conference in San Francisco. Apple is already testing iPhone devices on HSPA+, according to reports, and the faster AT&T service could arrive as soon as May 31. That's just in time for WWDC where Apple is widely expected to launch a brand new iPhone device. A new iPhone would undoubtedly send another deluge of customers towards AT&T's service, and the company is loath to repeat the problems reported when iPhone 3G first launched last summer. Instead, AT&T would be better off to have noticeable speed improvements ready just as it did when the original iPhone launched on the AT&T EDGE network in 2007.

While the iPhone figures prominently in AT&T's plans, the mobile carrier also wants to open up 3G access to a wider range of products. At the CTIA Wireless conference last month, AT&T said it was looking at a wide range of 3G devices like eReaders, digital cameras, and of course netbooks embedded with 3G chips. AT&T could shake up its subscription plans as well and is considering models like a pay-per-upload scheme for digital cameras users. That would give you a more attractive way to take advantage of online photo storage and social networking straight from your camera without paying a monthly fee.

IPhone users and owners of other 3G devices will no doubt welcome the increased speed on AT&T's 3G network, but the AT&T network actually has the potential to go as high as 14.4 Mbps. However, Scott McElroy, vice president of AT&T Mobility, says it's unlikely customers will ever see those speeds on the 3G network. That's partially because AT&T has already spent a lot of development time on HSPA+, but AT&T also wants to begin testing its 4G network in test markets by 2010. McElroy told Telephony Online there's little point in migrating to 14.4 Mbps if AT&T can go straight to 21 Mbps.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags HSDPAat&tsmartphonesiphone 3g

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?