AT&T is working to upgrade its network with the the HSPA+ standard, which should more than double the data transfer speed of the carrier’s 3G service.
John Stankey, the head of AT&T Operations, says that his company’s plan is to have this 3.5G standard available to 250 million Americans by the end of the year.
Under ideal conditions, HSPA+ offers downloads at up to 21 Mbps. Stankey says that this upgrade should double the speed of AT&T’s HSPA data network, most of has a theoretical data speed of 7 Mbps.
AT&T is a a bit behind some of its rivals: T-Mobile USA already has its HSPA+ network in place, and Sprint is offering the 4G service WiMAX.
From 3.5G to 4G
AT&T is also intends to start offering the 4G service LTE (long-term evolution) next year. Under ideal conditions, LTE will offer 40-50 Mbps for downloads.
Verizon is going to start offering LTE service later this year, while T-Mobile plans to start using this standard at some point.