AT&T Announces Completion of HSPA 7.2 3G Upgrade

att_warp_speed

Looks like AT&T put the HSPA 7.2 3G peddle to the metal so T-Mobile wouldn't grab all the nation-wide upgrade headlines today.

“We are focused on providing our customers with the industry’s best combination of mobile broadband speed, performance, coverage and available devices,” said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations, who announced the network updates at the Citigroup 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference today. “As we light up new backhaul connections across the country, we’re able to deliver a meaningful 3G speed boost for millions of customers who are already using HSPA 7.2-compatible devices. At the same time, we’re also looking to the future with these backhaul enhancements, which will support our move to next-generation LTE technology starting in 2011.”

Of course, that doesn't mean iPhone 3GS users (who's radios support HSPA 7.2) will suddenly feel themselves pressed back into their seats yet -- oh, no, no, no. This is only potential. The reality is only 6 US cities have been lit up so far:

Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami, with capabilities being turned up on a site-by-site basis beginning last month. Further backhaul deployment will continue in these markets and begin in additional markets across the nation. We anticipate that the majority of our mobile data traffic will be carried over the expanded fiber-based, HSPA 7.2-capable backhaul by the end of this year, with deployment continuing to expand in 2011.

So, any of you in those cities at warp factor 1 yet?

[Thanks to our good friend Phil Nickinson for the tip!]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

AT&T Announces Completion of HSPA 7.2 3G Upgrade

53 Comments

Also irrrelevant, but you combined star wars and star trek in the image. Isn't that some sort of geek sin?
As for the article, it just sounds like a bunch of fluff. It's just back haul, not the actual radios. Bottleneck is still there.

In Chicago and still can't hold a 3G connection when surfing. This is downtown Chicago too. It always reverts back to Edge then dies faster than a little bit of me when I realize this phone sucks.

They are still not finished rolling out 3G. Juneau Alaska just had 3G turned up this week end, and there is exactly two towers to upgrade there.
Since ATT 3G is already faster than Verizon, and since ATT is bitChin about data usage, why are they pushing HSPA at all instead of increasing their coverage of 3G?
I'm thinking those map-ads of Verizon will play this 6 city HSPA upgrade as another smack in the face to ATT customers.
And with Apple possibly in talks with Verizon, ( http://gizmodo.com/5440682/apple-and-verizon-disagreeing-on-cdma-iphone-... ) bringing up 6 cities at the expense of huge chunks of the country does not look good.
SEMI RELATED:
AT&T provides the free-for-life wireless for the Barnes and Noble "Nook" eReader. (For book purchase only).
But apparently they forgot to bring their Roaming Partners on board, and people are having to drive 150 miles or more to register their nooks because the overwhelming vast majority of ATT's coverage in the hinterlands of central USA is via Roaming Partners, and they won't register via WiFi.

3G connection in Houston is, overall, ok. Some occasions I get 250kbps while others only 90kbps. I've only noticed one area that consistently drops calls, but other than that I can't complain too much.

What's with Charlotte- first they get the 3G Microcell, now this. I guess it's true- It's not who you know, it's who you bl**.

I've been getting download speeds as high as 230kb/s in Denver on my iPhone 3G forever... I use dtunes to torrent and get albums in like 5 min

Once again, how about putting in some regular old G3 in the places that don't have it, say like Kalamazoo Michigan?

I never understood why kilobits are always used to describe connection speeds but kilobytes is Usually used to describe downloads. Anyway, I get between 1800 and 2200 Kbps here in the Chicago suburbs.

I'm in Santa Monica, CA. Just tried both "Speedtest" and "Speed Test" apps on my iphone 3gs. Average download speed 325kbps download and 200kbps upload. HSPA 7.2 in Los Angeles? Ha! I don't think so. Perhaps AT&T's Los Angeles is a different mythical place than the Los Angeles I'm living in.

AT&T is a joke! Instead of investing in their network they're plowing money in to PR and wealth management.

im in a suburb of Charlotte , an nothin new yet, could be cause im on the outer of the city.

@Icebike
I forgot about that app. Just ran it and got 1.7Mbps. I guess I was thinking more of when I download torrents. My bad...lol

It's a shared resource. In Australia our whole network is 3G, and it all runs at 21mbps. The iPhone is capable of 7.2mbps. Realworld - we get speeds of 3mbps to 4.5mbps. It should increase overall speeds to most 3GS users when AT&T switches it on, but only likely a ~50% increase on what your seeing reliably now.

Slight increase in O.C. Cali. B4 avg down was 1200-1500. Now it's hitting 2000 down.

I'm no AT&T fanboy but they are upgrading 3G while they are doing the HSPA upgrade. Take a look at their press releases (Link: http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsfunction=search...). Clearly, the Verizon commercials have gotten to them so that when they complete upgrades in a geography they're doing a press release. Some even escape press releases. Local radio here in Raleigh reported that they added some towers in town recently and one happens to be 2 1/2 miles from my house where there was terrible coverage in an enclave surrounded by very strong 3G signals. People can gripe about AT&T's service and be supported by the facts. However, saying that they don't care and aren't working hard on upgrading 3G should look at the facts more closely.

Downtown Dallas: 163Kbps down 232Kbps Up (thats kinda backwards)
Dallas Suburbs (Arlington): 357/231 then 10 minutes later and 5 miles further I got 2726/254...so very spotty in DFW...
I RARELY ever got over a meg anywhere I go in DFW. Sure would like to know what towers/when they plan on turning up cuz I just dont see it widespread yet.

In Dallas.. Just tested and got 800kb / 250kb with full 3G bars... wtf, I want my upgrade now!!!!

134 d / 79 u on 3G with full bars in San Diego.
Good to see it almost catching up with 2G on a proper network.
What a joke. Their commercials incense me.

Up here near Justin, TX (north of Fort Worth) I just got 2257 up & 276 down. But, that's nothing new.. I've always had that speed.

The two common speed testing apps produce widely differing results.
The Cisco app tests download and upload seperately and is greatly affected by ping (the time it takes to request and receive a small piece of data). On wifi dsl/cable where ping is small, they produce similar results.
Here in Maple Ridge, BC on Rogers with a ping of 2000 (that means it takes 2 seconds to get a response) Cisco Speed Test reports 600 kb/s d/l while Speedtest.net reports 2.4 Mb/s because it uses large single block transfers.
When comparing bandwidth on a high latency system you should always use large block transfers.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida download speed now varies from 3513 to 1800, typically showing about 2500. Upload speed runs from 220 to 293, typically showing about 250.

had to double check that it was actually a 3G test (vs wi-fi), but I did, in fact, score 3719/238 downtown Seattle on the 14th...

I live in downtown Dallas across from AT&T Plaza (their nat'l HQ). I have a 3G. And have been using the speedtest.ne. Native app for about a year now witg some interesting results:
1: Subsiquent tests From the initial are always significantly faster...recently as much as 400% which tells me their data bandwidth allocation must be dynamically controlled on a need basis.
2: Over the last few weeks I've hit my highest results. Here is my most recent (last night).http://www.speedtest.net/iphone/23159122.png
3: I have sporatic serious voice connection issues. They've said it's building interference but I don't buy it for a second with consistantly high data Lin results and also since I have line of site view of sone of their cell site repeaters (maybe 100 yards away.
4: Speed results are ALWAYS faster in my 8th floor apt. Vs. ground level at my building (inside or out).

ATT 3G doesn't work inside my house in North Miami just west of Aventura. I have to walk outside all around my backyard to check mail and it still takes 3-5 minutes to load! My husband has a Verizon Blackberry with no problems............what's up???? ATT needs to get their act together. Love the iphone, can't tolerate their 3G:(

Funny, here in Little Rock, AR according to the speedtest app I have installed, my average is 2351 kbps (2.3 Mbps).

I am in Miami, with a ATT USBConnect Mercury supposed to be 7.2 Mbps capable with the latest firmware. Windows shows a 3.6 Mbps connection speed, and speedtest.ne says 2.5d/0.7u
Now is July 2010, ATT is not ready yet in Miami, one of the 6 town supposed to be upgraded to 7.2 Mps ! Any of you experienced an "above 3.6 Mbps" experience ?

I don't know about you guys but I have the HTC Inspire 4G for AT&T and the speeds I'm getting using the SpeedTest.ne app are:
3G: 3.6 Mps Download; 220 Upload.
4G (Not really yet): 8.1 Mps Download; 1.2 Mb upload
Wifi: ***Oh, lets not go there lol hahaha its to fast that it passes the numbers on the meter >:D

I'm located in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Back then the cell towers were constantly overloaded and the speeds were just crap. AT&T is stepping up but they just need to work on loosing service in the house for example, I go to my room to call a friend and boom! No Signal like really? But I tell you what, I appreciate what I have and what I accomplish. AT&T is not bad so why people talk shit? Go to MetroPCS or BoostMobile. They are the ones who suck so go waste your time somewhere else, AT&T and Verizon are both really good, and don't even bring up Sprint cause they horrible. I remember back in the days they were walky talky phones... Now they have the Evo (Inspire is the same but better) they think they are all big and baddass, SIKE!!!

I was in Houston last weekend and managed to get 3.4 Mbs using the speedtest.net app. I live just outside of Wichita Ks and and have actually topped 4Mbs there....seem backwards?