Cell service provider AT&T is planning on upgrading its wireless network to support the faster HSPA+ protocol, and plans to make the service available to some 250 million customers in 2010. HSPA+ is a a faster 3G wireless connection that supports 14.4Mbps speeds, as apposed to the 7.2Mbps 3G speeds currently available to subscribers.
News of the planned network upgrade came from AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey at a Reuters event, according to Engadget, and potentially means many iPhone 3GS owners will be able to access Internet-based content faster by the end of the year.
AT&T plans to continue working towards its 4G network rollout which is scheduled to begin some time in 2011.
The announcement that HSPA+ network upgrades are on the way is a reversal from earlier AT&T plans. The company previously planned to skip HSPA+ upgrades and work on transitioning straight from 3G to 4G.
At&T hasn’t yet said which markets will get HSPA+ support.