AT&T to Increase Maximum 3G Speeds Fivefold by 2009

Speaking at a communications conference hosted by noted investment banking firm Morgan Stanley today, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega has confirmed that the carrier plans to increase downstream 3G speeds by five times going into 2009, with rates exceeding 20Mbps.

This contradicts an earlier statement made by the Vice President of Architecture Frank Kafka when speaking to the GSM Association in March regarding AT&T’s ongoing HSPA upgrades in markets with W-CDMA access when he stated at the time that AT&T had no plans to go up to or beyond 14.4Mbps HSPA access.

The CEO also made statements confirming that AT&T was testing High Speed Packet Access Release 7, which would increase the theoretical maximum downstream rate to 20 Mbps, 4 times that of the currently deployed 3.6 Mbps, with the intention to transition to the upgraded speed in 2009.

The intention behind the upgrade is to ease the transition to LTE, which de la Vega expects to deploy commercially in 2010, despite the fact that the preliminary standards have not been finalized, nor have any manufacturers lined up networking equipment required for the deployment, on top of the seemingly extended testing phases with no imminent standardization by the ITU or ratification by the IEEE in the coming year.

Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

4 responses to “AT&T to Increase Maximum 3G Speeds Fivefold by 2009”

  1. Kenneth

    Aaaah great. But what about coverage. I live in S. Ga. I believe coverage is only in Atlanta.

  2. Dan

    Sounds like if ATT ever implements this, you will be able to quickly reach their maximum cap on their unlimited data plans. DE DE DEE

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