Hot on the heels of T-Mobile's HSPA announcement earlier in the day, AT&T was quick to announce the availability of an HSPA 7.2 Mbps software boost to their existing 3G footprint, beating their original deadline of 2010 by a year. Upgrading is one thing, but the issue lies in AT&T's non-upgraded back-end system. Yes, you're reading it correctly: the network is capable, but the back-end doesn't support it just yet. The nation's second largest wireless carrier says that most of the data it handles will operate over the upgraded back end by the end of 2010. Rollouts of true HSPA (front-end and back-end) continue in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Think of it like a funnel - large at one end, small at the other. In order for AT&T to improve their back-end, they have to turn the funnel into a cylinder - equal in size when it comes to the front-end and back-end. That's expected to happen just before 2011 in all 3G markets nationwide. Considering Verizon's claim to have LTE rollouts in progress then, it would be prudent to complete the back-end upgrades as quickly as possible.
Via Engadget Mobile