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!]