Speaking at the Sencha Conference in San Francisco, AT&T CTO John Donovan said that 80 percent of the carrier's 3G network has been upgraded to the faster high-speed packet access plus (HSPA+) specification, according to IDG . The operator wants to cover 250 million people with the technology by the end of 2010.
Why this matters The HSPA+ upgrade gives AT&T a 3G network with improved speeds to counter major rival Verizon's Long Term Evolution (LTE) launch late this year in 38 markets. T-Mobile has also been nipping at AT&T's heels with a HSPA+ upgrade of its own that is expected to cover 200 million by the end of 2010. Sprint, meanwhile, has been launching its dual-mode 3G and WiMax service in major markets like NYC recently.
But how fast is it? AT&T had initially said that it would roll out a 14.4 Mbit/s HSPA upgrade to its network. Rival T-Mobile went for a HSPA+ upgrade that tops out at 21 Mbit/s. AT&T recently told PC Mag that it is using the same technology as T-Mobile and its network will be faster than 14.4 Mbit/s but didn't reveal actual peak speeds.
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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile