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AT&T to finish HSPA in 2008; 3G iPhone soon

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2008

ATT Finishing 3G Network

AT&T will complete building out its HSPA network for all of its 3G areas by the end of year and expects the iPhone to move into the 3G realm itself, according to statements by carrier officials. Network vice president Hank Kafka remarked that all the 255 areas that currently handle AT&T's normal 3G, or HSDPA, will be upgraded to the faster upload speeds of the full HSPA spec before the end of 2008. This will come on top of a larger 3G expansion that should offer at least HSDPA to as many as 350 areas.

HSPA improves the overall connection rate and allows up to 1.4Mbps downstream while boosting uploads as high as 800Kbps, enabling higher-quality two-way video calls and other features that require live streams.

Separately, company chief Ralph de la Vega has also confirmed the relatively near-term launch of a 3G-capable iPhone. The senior official commented that all of AT&T's "smart integrated devices" would support 3G within months; when asked if this included the iPhone, de la Vega largely repeated his statement, according to reports, implying that the iPhone would be included among the devices.

The CEO's statements emphasize statements made late last year by then-chief Randall Stephenson, who promised a 2008 release of a 3G-capable iPhone. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs also said an iPhone capable of faster Internet service was likely due in the later portion of 2008.

Whether the impending Apple handset will include HSPA or simpler HSDPA is unknown; at present, most HSPA access on AT&T is limited to PC data adapters. Few phones are confirmed for HSPA as of today, but will likely include Sony-Ericsson's upcoming XPERIA X1.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. bfalchuk

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2003

    0

    de la Vega not CEO

    de la Vega did not replace Randall Stephenson as at&t CEO. He's the head of at&t Mobility, and reports to Stephenson.

  1. Constable Odo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    Makes sense...

    if they're gonna sell 3G handsets that their network should support 3G handsets. I just hope it lives up to expectations of a speedy network. Either way, those 3G iPhones will hopefully benefit all those users overseas that claim they won't buy iPhones until they're 3G. I'll see what their next excuse will be for not buying an iPhone.

  1. henjin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007

    0

    Should be fastest HSPA

    Now we have waited it should be the the fastest version of 3G as this will make it a real benefit. WiFi makes 3g look slow. I gave up a Voyager because frankly the speed was not that great. WiFi beats it hands down. Besides reports show India/China are buying up all the spare iPhones they can import. The real need for HSPA will be against Nokia in Europe.

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