AT&T to Launch HSPA 7.2 Networks in Six U.S. Cities This Year

Wireless carrier AT&T announced plans to offer wireless data connections on its 3G network to customers, including iPhone users, when it enables High Speed Packet Access 7.2 technology in a half-dozen cities by the end of 2009 on Wednesday. Per AppleInsider, the upgrade delivers theoretical peak speeds twice that of the carrier’s existing 3G network. Deployment will begin in Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Tex.; Houston, Tex.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Miami, Fla.

By the end of 2010, AT&T intends to have HSPA 7.2 available in 25 of the nation’s 30 largest markets. The carrier also stated hopes to have the higher speed data available for 90 percent of its existing 3G coverage areas.

“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.

The new network speeds will allow iPhone 3GS users to take full advantage of their device, allowing theoretical download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps. In all, AT&T plans to have six HSPA 7.2-compatible phones available for customers on its network by the end of the year, as well as two LaptopConnect cards.

AT&T also announced that it will also be performing significant upgrades to its “wireless backhaul” in the process, allowing the network to support HSPA 7.2 and 4G LTE — the next generation of wireless broadband, expected to begin its roll out in 2011.

In recent weeks, AT&T has announced its intentions to spend more than $17 billion on improving its network this year alone. The carrier recently strengthened its 3G signal in the New York-New Jersey Tri-State Region, and plans nearly 1,900 new cell towers to be built across the country this year.

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