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AT&T 's Road to 4G

12:32 PM -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today announced major 3G network upgrade plans for 2008 and said it is preparing for next-generation mobile broadband standard Long-Term Evolution (LTE). The operator says it will complete an upgrade to high-speed packet access (HSPA) by the middle of this year, with the deployment of high-speed uplink packet access (HSUPA). (See LTE Hits 300 Mbit/s and LTE Specs on Track.)

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T's wireless unit, said in a statement today, "We're also planning for the future by establishing a clear path to a 4G network that will meet the needs of our customers for years to come."

AT&T says its 3G network currently offers downlink speeds of between 600 Kbit/s and 1.4 Mbit/s, and uplink speeds ranging from 500 Kbit/s and 800 Kbit/s.

The operator will also expand 3G network coverage to 80 additional U.S. cities this year.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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