The launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008 (and the 3GS in 2009) added an unbearable strain to AT&T's network, particularly in larger cities. Users were reporting that EDGE was the only reliable data connection, with 3G often dropping off or being too slow to effectively use. iPhone, Bold, Fuze - whatever device you're using, 3G has most likely been unreliable at least once. Thankfully, the carrier realizes the dilemma, and is launching HSPA 7.2 in various markets over the next few years. Six cities are getting the initial HSPA 7.2Mbps upgrade before the year is over: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami. For the rest of the nation, no word on target dates or eligible cities just yet, though the company mentions several markets will launch in 2010.
In addition to offering six HSPA-compatible devices and two HSPA-compatible aircards by the end of the year, AT&T is also working on adding 2,000 new cell sites to various parts of the nation by the end of the year, a commercial LTE rollout in 2011, and the addition of 850 MHz 3G coverage to areas not yet blanketed by the high-speed technology. Good news indeed - and to those of us in the aforementioned six markets (which would include me), fast(er) 3G is on its way.