AT&T To Finish Deploying Faster 3G Network In June - InformationWeek

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AT&T To Finish Deploying Faster 3G Network In June

The HSUPA deployment is expected to put AT&T on par with Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which offer EVDO-based mobile broadband.

AT&T on Wednesday said it would complete the deployment of its faster 3G wireless broadband service by the end of June.

The telecommunications company said the remaining six markets would be connected to its HSUPA technology, which delivers up to 800 KB per second in upload speeds and 1.4 Mb per second in download capabilities.

The service will be available to customers who have supporting devices, such as notebooks with AT&T's Laptop Connect wireless modems. However, such high-speed services among carriers are expensive with rates of $60 a month or more.

HSUPA, or high-speed uplink packet access, is a 3G, or third generation, mobile telephony protocol. The technology is expected to be an improvement over AT&T's slower HSDPA high-speed service. Since 2005, AT&T has invested more than $20 billion in network improvements and upgrades, according to the company.

The HSUPA deployment is expected to put AT&T on par with Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which offer EVDO-based mobile broadband. HSUPA is part of the HSPA, or high-speed packet access, family of 3G standards, and EVDO belongs to the CDMA2000 family.

AT&T said it plans to continue boosting network performance with the eventual adoption of HSPA+ and later LTE, or long term evolution, technologies. LTE has evolved as the wireless networking technology of choice for the future. Verizon Wireless and Alltel have also chosen the fourth-generation wireless technology for future deployment.

AT&T claims to have the largest digital voice and data networks in the United States, with 3G roaming available in 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea; and voice calling in more than 200 countries.

More than three quarters of the mobile phones in AT&T handset portfolio is 3G capable, the company said. AT&T plans to introduce more phones in the summer and fall.

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