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AT&T Announces Completion of 7.2 Mbps Software Updates, But Backhaul Upgrades Still Needed

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U.S. iPhone wireless carrier partner AT&T yesterday announced the completion of its nationwide software upgrade program designed to make all of its 3G cell sites compatible with 7.2 Mbps data speeds, double the current standard.
The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology across 3G cell sites is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T's network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with the best possible mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future. After full testing of HSPA 7.2 software, AT&T decided to expedite deployment of this initial upgrade, which will result in a better overall customer experience by generally improving consistency in accessing data sessions. The software upgrade also prepares the network for faster speeds and increases network efficiency.
The faster speeds, which are supported by the iPhone 3GS, will not be available to users, however, until AT&T upgrades its backhaul connections, which the carrier plans to do over the next two years. Backhaul upgrades are currently being performed in the carrier's six test markets, with the faster HSPA 7.2 speeds being activated as infrastructure work is completed. The company anticipates that the majority of its 3G traffic will be shifted to HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2010, with the remainder following in 2011.

AT&T is also continuing to look beyond HSPA 7.2 to deployment of LTE (4G) beginning in 2011, which will offer even better performance for users.
The backhaul upgrades are also a key step in the evolution toward next-generation LTE mobile broadband technology. AT&T is designing its new backhaul deployments to accommodate both faster 3G and future LTE deployments. AT&T currently plans to begin trials of LTE technology this year, and to begin LTE deployment in 2011, matching industry time lines for widespread availability of compelling devices and supporting network equipment.

Article Link: AT&T Announces Completion of 7.2 Mbps Software Updates, But Backhaul Upgrades Still Needed
 

Xavier

Contributor
Mar 23, 2006
2,628
1,224
Columbus
In my opinion this should have taken place awhile ago. Cell companies are terrible at upgrading.
 
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sfh

macrumors regular
May 27, 2008
240
0
Sacramento CA
yay

It's like having a race car and you're stuck in a 25mph zone...

I know someone who is working on the 4g project with ATT and basically they are only doing upgrades to meet the minimum requirements fro the 4g equipment.
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
re: AT&T bashing here

We all know this whole message topic is just here as flamebait for AT&T .... but hey, I'll bite. They deserve most of it anyway.

They're bragging about completing this "upgrade", yet it won't be usable for *2 more years* because they don't have the bandwidth to support it on the back end yet?? Then it's not complete, is it?! Why bother mentioning it? Just trying desperately to make themselves look good?
 
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bytethese

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2007
2,694
99
Hmm, not sure why NY nor SF are not test markets, given our issues with service in these areas. The link to the previous article states that "AT&T hope to have 25 of 30 of their largest markets at 7.2Mbps by the end of 2010".

I have two issues with this, "hopes" and "25 of 30". Please AT&T, fix us in NY and our friends in SF as well!

However, once this rolls out, I will be grateful for the extra speed.
 
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TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
7,032
1
I like AT&T. It doesn't bother me that they don't have coverage out in the middle of nowhere, but I get coverage everywhere *I go*, so I'm happy.

I don't get to enjoy 3G speeds though because I disabled my data plan.
 
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DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,088
3,416
South Dakota, USA
Who cares. I just want service in more places.

If they keep spending all of their money on a few of the same test markets that tells me they never plan to add more service in more places. Verizon seems to spread their money all around and AT&T seems to be focused on only a few of the top markets. It will be interesting to see which one is more successful in the long term.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
20,612
22,744
California
AT&T announcing faster 3G is sort of like a nerd talking about his girlfriend who lives in Canada.

pics or it didn't happen
 
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eastcoastsurfer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2007
600
27
I like AT&T. It doesn't bother me that they don't have coverage out in the middle of nowhere, but I get coverage everywhere *I go*, so I'm happy.

I don't get to enjoy 3G speeds though because I disabled my data plan.

It's not the middle of nowhere coverage that people are complaining about. In fact, I just drove across the US and had pretty good coverage the whole way. My (and I believe most others) biggest complaint is the crappy coverage in many big cities. I went through a period where I couldn't have a conversation longer than 5 minutes without the call being dropped (this is while sitting still with 5 full bars!). Admittedly it has gotten a bit better, but dropped calls are still an issue.
 
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SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
Why bother mentioning it? Just trying desperately to make themselves look good?

Because earlier in the day T-Mobile announced their entire network went to 7.2Mb/s and that they're going to start testing HSPA+ 21Mb/s this summer.

AT&T looks like a bunch of morons, and rightfully so. They're the oldest telephone company out there and they cant operate and maintain a cellular network to save their asses.
 
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lsvtecjohn3

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2008
856
0
A big F you to AT&T. They said last year they would have hspa rolled out in six markets LA being one of them. One of the reasons I got the 3GS thinking I was going to get faster internet speeds, now these clowns are saying not untill later this year.... I can't wait untill the iPhone is on more carriers in the US

how is it that T mobile who just came out with their 3g last year has their network on HSPA and AT&T can't?
 
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TXCraig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
507
6
Houston, TX
Still Fuzzy On Where They Are At?

I live in one of the "test" markets, Houston, and I have never seen my phone test over 2 MB down on 3G (most of the time about 1.5 MB down).... so that what you can expect to see with 7.2 MB upgrade? Are the test markets DONE? Can some smart developer out there write an app that can tell what kind of 3G connection you have?
 
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Azmordean

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2004
250
0
Silicon Valley
ATT sucks less than others and more that some. The problem is they suck at a high monthly cost compared to others....and we are stuck with them....for now...



See my comments above!!

This in my view is the biggest problem with ATT. Its the price of Verizon with the service of Tmobile. It'd be one thing for ATT to be having all these issues if it was cheap... but it's not.
 
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SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
I live in one of the "test" markets, Houston, and I have never seen my phone test over 2 MB down on 3G (most of the time about 1.5 MB down).... so that what you can expect to see with 7.2 MB upgrade? Are the test markets DONE?

Probably 1.5-2.0Mb/s. Double whatever speeds you were getting before the upgrade.
 
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Moomba

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2008
127
0
Charlotte, NC
I lived IN one of their test markets (Charlotte, NC) and I didn't even have 3G coverage at Concord Mills (one of the major malls here.) Most of the rest of the city I have 3G about 90% of the time. However, I recently moved just 15 minutes outside of the 485 beltway and I barely have 1-2 bars of EDGE service. I prefer the GSM technology (mostly due to its near-worldwide use) that AT&T uses, but this is just crazy. While I may have enough of an edge signal for a voice call there is no way I could ever actually use any data with coverage this bad. My gripe isn't with the quality, but with the scope. The quality of what is available is fine... there's just hardly any of it to begin with. I really wish they would invest in expanding their scope. I've been with AT&T/Cingular for over 10 years and I too intend on jumping ship to Verizon the first chance I get (with my iPhone.) It just saddens me...
 
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ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,426
3,219
Up until a few weeks ago, I was getting 1.4 Mbps download speeds on average. It's quite clear something changed. I live in Houston (77077, 083, 063 is where I primarily am) and am very happy with their coverage and reliability. Current data speeds:

 
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Diode

macrumors 68020
Apr 15, 2004
2,429
99
Washington DC
My gripe with AT&T 3G data is not how fast it is, but how long it can take to get the initial connection.

Sometimes (but it feels like most of the time), opening google maps or safari I'll see a ~20 second (sometimes full minute) lag while it establishes a data connection (all while having a full 5 bars of 3G)

I played with my friends DROID and everything was instant ... sigh.
 
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DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,185
679
Speeds are the same for me.

I haven't noticed any changes.

My gripe with AT&T 3G data is not how fast it is, but how long it can take to get the initial connection.

I agree, it feels like it is a "dial up" connection to start out just without all the annoying sounds.
 
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miketcool

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
886
270
California
Up until a few weeks ago, I was getting 1.4 Mbps download speeds on average. I live in Houston (77077, 083, 063 is where I primarily am) and am very happy with their coverage and reliability.

T-Mo just sent me past 7Mbps yesterday. America's fastest network my butt.

ATT will need to buy another carrier to stay ahead of this trend. Maybe they should rape congress for some taxpayer $$ to offset the monitoring program and fix their network issues.

"Hi congress, its us here at ATT. Yeah, we know, there are a lot of terrorists dropping calls on our network. They're all switching. Say, if you want better Patriot Act reliability, how about you bail our tech out? Sounds great."
 
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