Even though the 3G network currently offered by AT&T is a serious improvement over EDGE speeds, it’s not nearly as fast as some of the other HSDPA networks in Europe and Asia. That may soon change, because we hear that AT&T plans on doing the HSUPA upgrade to its 3G network later this year, effectively upgrading their HSDPA network to a true HSPA network.
The rollout of the AT&T HSPA release 7 network is being targeted for 2009 and the new 3G technology will be able to support wireless data speeds as high as 20Mbps. That represents a speed increase of over 400% compared to what the current network is able to handle. Can you imagine surfing at 20Mbps on your 3G Apple iPhone? That would be crazy!
Right now, the mobility department at AT&T is able to push the HSPA envelope into the 7.2Mbps range in AT&T laboratories. The kicker is that the increase in speed to 20Mbps will not require any hardware modifications. As time goes on, these upgrades are meant to “solidify AT&T’s plans to introduce their 4G LTE data network in a few years.” When that happens, we may be able to enjoy 100Mbps data speeds.