AT&T Announces Multi-city 3G Speed Bump

AT&T revealed its plans for migrating its 3G network to the faster HSPA 7.2 technology and expects to offer improved speeds in six cities by the end of the year. First on the company's list are Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami, with plans for faster coverage in 30 markets by the end of 2010.

The migration to HSPA 7.2 on the company's 3G network will offer subscribers peak download speeds of 7.2Mbps on compatible phones, including Apple's iPhone 3GS. AT&T is also planning on releasing two HSPA 7.2-compatible laptop cards by the end of the year.

The network speed bump will be good news for iPhone 3GS owners since they already have phones capable of taking advantage of the faster data transfer rates. The initial limited coverage areas, however, will leave most iPhone 3GS owners operating at the current 3G network speeds until AT&T ramps up its rollout plans.

AT&T expects to add HSPA 7.2 support to 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to have upgraded about 90 percent of its 3G network by the end of 2011. The company hasn't said which areas it plans to work on after it completes the initial six city roll out.