AT&T plans major expansion of 3G wireless broadband service in 2008

AT&T is casting a wider Net for mobile customers this year by building out its network to make catching a high speed wireless Web connection easier coast-to-coast.

AT&T Inc. today announced highlights of the company’s 2008 wireless network expansion plans, including the deployment of third-generation (3G) wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities in the United States through the course of the year. The planned expansion is expected to deliver AT&T 3G services to nearly 350 leading U.S. markets by the end of 2008, including all of the top 100 U.S. cities. The 3G initiative will include the roll out of more than 1,500 additional cell sites nationwide.

Other plans for the new year include completion of the nation’s first High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)-enabled network by the middle of the year. The AT&T 3G network now delivers typical downlink speeds ranging between 600 and 1,400 Kilobits per second (Kbps), as well as faster uplink speeds, ranging from 500 and 800 Kilobits per second (Kbps). The faster uplink speeds allow AT&T’s HSUPA-enabled laptop users to more quickly send large files and take full advantage of the latest interactive Internet and business applications.

The company’s wireless network is based on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) technologies, the most open and widely used wireless network platform in the world, supporting 86 percent of the people worldwide who use wireless devices. This platform also positions AT&T to continually adopt next-generation technologies.

“Fast wireless broadband is the foundation for a whole range of new and emerging applications that our customers are adopting, including everything from social networking to sending live video and large business files,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T’s wireless unit, in the press release. “With these aggressive initiatives, we’re expanding the scope and the speed of our 3G capabilities, connecting people with their world and enabling more customers to do more with their wireless devices, wherever they may be.

“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,” said de la Vega.

The deployment of HSUPA this year is the next step in the evolution of AT&T’s 3G network, with further enhancements and speed boosts expected in the near future. This year’s HSUPA deployment will complete the transition of the AT&T 3G network to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) standards, marking the only full transition by any wireless provider in the United States to this latest generation of wireless broadband capabilities.

As customer needs continue to evolve and grow in the future, AT&T’s global leadership in deployment of GSM technologies positions the company to continuously evolve its network to meet those needs. The evolution towards HSPA+ and LTE technologies will enable the company to continue to deliver higher speeds and capacity in the years to come.

“From the beginning, our wireless network has been designed with the future in mind,” said de la Vega. “The capabilities of 3G standards will continue to expand over the next several years, enabling us to stay well ahead of our customers’ broadband needs. And looking even further into the future, our existing technologies provide the ideal platform for a smooth transition to next-generation platforms.”

AT&T’s GSM technology also offers customers the largest international roaming footprint. AT&T devices work in 196 countries and regions — accounting for more than 90 percent of the planet. All GSM customers in those countries can roam on the AT&T network in the United States as well.

Source: AT&T Inc.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]

It’ll be nice to have some network infrastructure in place when Apple debuts their 3G iPhone.


  1. “When we looked at 3G, the chipsets are not quite mature, in the sense that they’re not low-enough power for what we were looking for. They were not integrated enough, so they took up too much physical space. We cared a lot about battery life and we cared a lot about physical size. Down the road, I’m sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision.”
    – Steve Jobs

    Battery life is still a big issue, right?

    Being able to easily switch speeds to conserve might be an option.

  2. THIS is why Apple has not introduced a 3G iPhone – yet. To all the idiot pundits, two-bit bloggers and knucklehead whiners on this and other message boards, get a clue. Please. Apple can’t move any faster than the availability of widespread 3G coverage by AT&T;, and the available supply of low-power 3G chips to make battery life practical enough for Apple to go ahead with a 3G iPhone.

    Instead, a chorus of frigtards have blamed Apple for not coming out with a 3G iPhone sooner. That’s all well and good, but where will you use it if the 3G cell towers haven’t been built yet? And what good would a 3G iPhone be if it had terrible battery performance because the available chipset of the time simply drew too much power? It’s like some knuckleheads on this board screaming for Apple to add WiMax capabilities to its products. There’s just one little problem: with the exception of the Google campus, and maybe at Intel, please name for me anyplace else on Earth WHERE WIMAX CURRENTLY EXISTS.

    I’ve got a news flash for you: it doesn’t.

    Instead, I see incessant whining about how Apple should do this, and Apple should do that. Please. Spare me with your drivel. Apple can only go as fast as key partners, in this case AT&T;and Broadcom, will allow them. Putting all this capability into so small a package is really hard work. But you take that for granted.

    That’s what I hate about my fellow Americans. We take so much for granted, but we whine about everything. You idiots make my head hurt.

    So get a clue. A little patience would be nice. It’s coming already. Be thankful for that. And stop your frickin’ whining!

  3. I can see it now. The much requested and desired iPhone 3G comes out and shortly after, many are bitching and moaning that it will not work in the country since there is NO 3G service out there.

    What, release a phone that does not have world wide service??? How dare Apple???

    No one will consider complaining to AT&T;. LOL ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    My 2 cents now buy rising to a sell at 18 cents later in the year. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  4. Hmm. My Verizon contract expires today. Current phone still works although it has some issues with battery life and charging, plus Verizon signal is pretty poor in the new neighborhood.

    Get an iPhone sooner, or wait for the 3G version?

  5. LOL at the state of mobile telephony in USA, although unfortunately it’s what keeps the rest of us from 3G (or crosses fingers, 3.5G please please please) iPhones.

    “The AT&T;3G network now delivers typical downlink speeds ranging between 600 and 1,400 Kilobits per second (Kbps),” so between 0.58 and 1.37 Megabits per second. Better than EDGE, but nowhere near the 7.3Mb/s I get with HSDPA on my MacBook Pro’s USB modem. To be fair, that’s only Central London … I have to put up with 3.6Mb/s elsewhere in UK, although many countries in Europe have 7.3Mb everywhere; and yet Europe remains far behind the Japanese and the Koreans.

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