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AT&T announces 7.2Mbps HSPA rollout plans


We knew AT&T had an HSPA upgrade in the works, and now the company has announced its plans, with initial rollout beginning later this year and reaching completion in 2011. That will overlap only slightly with LTE, which AT&T plans to put into trials in 2010 and start melting our faces in 2011. The HSPA upgrade takes the network from 3.6Mbps to 7.2Mbps in theoretical speed, and AT&T also plans to nearly double the amount of wireless spectrum it dedicates to 3G in metropolitan areas -- which should come as a relief to city dwellers who haven't managed more than a couple minutes of sustained conversation since mid-2008. To support the increased bandwidth of HSPA, AT&T also plans on adding thousands of new cell site backhaul connections, while also rolling out 3G service to 20 new metro areas and deploying 2,100 new cell sites in total. HSPA-sporting mobile data cards and smartphones will be available "later this year."

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