AT&T Upgrading 6 Major Cities to HSPA 7.2


AT&T has unveiled plans to upgrade their 3G network to 7.2 HSPA in various markets across the US by the end of the year. What cities happen to have all of the luck on their side? Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.

If you don't live in any of those cities don't worry, I will let you all know how it is working here in Chicago. Unfortunately for those who are not so lucky, the wait for HSPA 7.2 will will take a bit longer as AT&T is planning on having 25 of the nation’s 30 largest markets upgraded by the end of 2010. John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations:


blockquote>“Our deployment of HSPA 7.2 and supporting backhaul connectivity will enable our customers to continue to ride the leading edge of emerging devices and thousands of mobile applications, our network is based on the predominant technology platform used by operators worldwide and has been tested by today’s most popular devices. That experience gives us an important advantage in developing and deploying new technologies to meet customers’ future needs.”

Who knows, maybe as these network upgrades are taking place we will slowly start to see apps such as SlingPlayer Mobile get rid of the Wi-Fi only chains? Only time will tell.

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Reader comments

AT&T Upgrading 6 Major Cities to HSPA 7.2


It'd be better to expand ordinary 3G - and even EDGE - to rural areas first.
Giving one thousand to one and none to the other is not the same as giving five hundred
to each.

AT&T makes me sick! First upgrading places with 3G with better 3G now they're deploying HSPA! Really AT&T?!? How about rolling out 3G EVERYWHERE first?

lol go the USA! In Australia, probably one of the smallest mobile markets in the world - we've got 99.8% of the population with 21mbps downloads, and the major cities (70% of the population) running at Sure it's a little overkill, there's no 42mbps devices for example - but the key is the whole voice network is 3G, and has been for many years.

AT&T is finally joining the rest of the world just as they move on from 7.2mbps to 21 and beyond... Always playing catch up is what pisses me off about AT&T, they're the eternal follower.

I wonder how much foil they are wrapping in their antennas to achieve this? Maybe 1 roll per cell site?

I guess Miami is on the map now!!! Surprised at first not to see NYC, but I guess it would cost them more to upgrade NYC because of all the towers.

Have to chime in with the others. Still on crappy Edge here. How about expanding plain ole 3G before upgrading existing 3G?

Getting high speed coverage in rural areas is never going to be a priority, so you're pretty much stuck there. You're always going to have technology that's a few years old. It just makes business sense to satisfy the millions in cities rather than the 100s in rural areas.
I would think implementing new towers etc in NYC would be more difficult than other cities because of space constraintts etc so maybe that's why it's not there. It also usually isn't wise to fall on your face in your biggest market during testing.

I'm no AT&T fanboy but how is it that when they announce an upgrade to one part of their network the response by some is that they are not upgrading the rest to 3G? They did not say that this trupms the 3G rollout only that they are upgrading 6 cities to HSPA.
As for New Fricking York, maybe they want to add some towers and improve service there before they bring it up on HSPA. What was not covered in this piece but was in other reports about AT&T yesterday is that the iPhone has caused a 4X increase in volume on their network. That's a huge number and likely one that was not anticipated. So we may need to wait for some improvements in their backbone before we see some other network improvements. Well see if VZ actually has the better network or is better at keeping data off of it.

I'm so glad I live in the Chicago suburbs so I don't have to constantly complain about AT&T...
With that said, I recently upgraded to a 3GS from a 3G, and am really suspicious that the problem lies less with the network and more with the device. The 3GS loads webpages much faster than the 3G did, even on EDGE. I don't even worry about whether I'm on 3G or EDGE anymore because the page just loads. I seriously have like 15 minutes more free time in the day because of the 3GS. You guys can yell at me and call me stupid, but that's the way it is.

AT&T already said yesterday 7.2 was pretty much just a software upgrade". Upping the back haul and software is all that's required to implement it.

This would have pissed me off majorly if my area didn't just get upgraded to 3G two weeks ago.

@ Joe McG - The processor upgrades do cause the phone to load things faster, it's not all based on the data speed. For example, if you ever jailbroke your phone and used the tethering apps, 3G appears to be BLAZING fast on the computer because the internal specs are so much higher. I only have a 3G but I can imagine that the 3GS would load pages much faster just based on the spec bumps.


AT&T already said yesterday 7.2 was pretty much just a software upgrade”. Upping the back haul and software is all that’s required to implement it.

That's the way I first read it as well.
Not sure its totally that simple. There is typically an expensive head-end controller in the tower base that handles the radios and that probably needs the new software and maybe some hardware upgrades, if not total replacement.
Its the backhaul that can be problematic. If they don't have adequate fiber to the tower it gets expensive.
If I were doing this, I'd be replacing the entire head-end infrastructure with LTE equipment (but not turning on the LTE bit just yet). The LTE head end manufacturers all support the existing gprs, edge, HSPA, UMTS standards as well. Why would ATT put in equipment today they will have to tear out in two years?
So I'm thinking the are doing more than just turning a dial in these 6 cities. If it were that easy they would do it everywhere.

Does the iPhone support & benefit from 14,4 Mbit/s HSPA or does it only support 7,2 Mbit/s? What's its maximum? Thanks!

It is my understanding that only the 3GS supports HDSPA 7.2, not the 3G or 1st gen iPhone. Can anybody confirm this?
P.S. I'm telling you, the 3GS is da bomb compared to 3G. It's like back in the 90's, when you thought your 200 mhz computer was so fast with your 56k modem until you got a 1 Ghz PC with LCD monitor and cable modem and your world was changed forever. Anybody who didn't upgrade because they thought there was no improvement needs to think again...

Is 3GS worth paying $400 now and missing out on an affordable upgrade to the new 2010 model?

Pay the $400 now and sell it next year. If enough people complain AT&T will do the same thing they did and allow upgrade pricing from June to September so if your gonna buy do it now. Buy 32gb. they sell better on eBay. I sold my 16gb 3G for $412.

Ice bike. That's what I'm getting out of it too. Backhaul to support LTE. which would mean infinite signal on 3G. The big problem for us is the backhaul. Once they fix that were golden.

I get to upgrade yearly? With no upgrade fees and full subsidized price. Does anyone else get this benifit? And yes I'm with AT&T.
90% of the current 3g markets will be covered by 7.2 HSDPA. That's faster than I thought they would be extending their 3.5 g networks.
They really need to be spending that 18 billion a year towards 4g

I sold my 8gb 3g on eBay for $365 and bought a 16 gb 3gs for $399...
AT&T does hit you with an $18 upgrade fee. Then there's taxes, paypal fees, and eBay fees.
All together it was just under $100 net to upgrade.

@ The Reptile:
we say it because they should be using those resiurces to finish their network ratheg than upgradepeoole who already have 3g. They advertize their 3g servicf everywhere but large parts of the country still don't have it that's misleading at the very least and false advertizung at the worst.

Just upgraded and sold my 3g on eBay. It had a broken home button and I still got $250. The 3gs is amazing!

@AJ you don't necessarily get to upgrade yearly. But enough people complained and the people that bought the 3G between release date and September 30th last year, were able to get an "early adopters" price. And AT&T gave those people the subsidized pricing this year toward the 3G[S]. So I bought my new one with hopes that AT&T will skip the BS next year and offer it right out the gate. All it took was a million people to complain and AT&T hooked it up

It doesn't look like it says for sure to me. I don't mind being on AT&T at all. The 3 cities I use it in. Sac, Seattle and Phoenix. Are full up 3G with the Phoenix area having close to 100 cell towers.

Sweet. Can't wait. I remember that sweet day when I looked at my Samsung Blackjack (1st one) and the E was gone and replaced with 3G.
I have all generations of iPhones and the 3gs dies make a huge difference. I don't like my 3g at all anymore. I just keep it in my laptop bag for emergency tethering needs.