AT&T to double wireless data speeds in 6 cities

September 9, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte, N.C., will be the first cities to see the benefits of AT&T's plans to double the data download speeds on its wireless network. The six cities will be upgraded before the end of the year, the carrier said Wednesday.

The iPhone 3GS is the only phone on the market now that will be able to take advantage of the speed increase. But AT&T pointed to five other "smart" phones and some USB dongles, which let laptops go online, that will go on sale before the end of the year. Those devices also will be able to take advantage of the new technology, known as HSPA, or High-Speed Packet Access.

IPhone users have complained of slow data service that appears to be the result of congestion on the wireless network, something the network upgrade could alleviate.

The upgrade provides for a theoretical top download speed of 7.2 megabits per second, up from 3.6 megabits per second, which in practice translated to speeds of about 1.4 megabits per second.

With the upgrade, AT&T will overtake Verizon Wireless in download speeds, but not for long. Verizon Wireless is planning to go live next year with a new technology that it believes will give average speeds of 7 megabits per second to 12 megabits per second. Sprint Nextel Corp.'s part-owned Clear service provides speeds of 4 megabits per second in practice.

Several European and Asian countries have already deployed the 7.2-megabit version of HSPA, and a few have gone to 14.4 megabits per second.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Canada's Rogers to start 3G wireless testing

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Roboticists learn to teach robots from babies

December 1, 2015

Babies learn about the world by exploring how their bodies move in space, grabbing toys, pushing things off tables and by watching and imitating what adults are doing.

Xbox gaming technology may improve X-ray precision

December 1, 2015

With the aim of producing high-quality X-rays with minimal radiation exposure, particularly in children, researchers have developed a new approach to imaging patients. Surprisingly, the new technology isn't a high-tech, high-dollar ...

Making 3-D imaging 1,000 times better

December 1, 2015

MIT researchers have shown that by exploiting the polarization of light—the physical phenomenon behind polarized sunglasses and most 3-D movie systems—they can increase the resolution of conventional 3-D imaging devices ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.