AT&T (NYSE:T) said it is moving to the 21 Mbps version of HSPA+ as it upgrades its network rather than the 14.4 Mbps HSPA+ version, a move likely precipitated by T-Mobile USA's aggressive migration to the 21 Mbps HSPA+ variant.
"Theoretical maximum downlink speeds are 21 Mbps, though real-world performance will be less and vary due to a number of factors," an AT&T spokeswoman told Light Reading Mobile.
AT&T said it has now upgraded to HSPA+ across 80 percent of its 3G network footprint with plans to cover 250 million potential subscribers by the end of the year.
Speaking to developers at the Sencha Conference in San Francisco, AT&T CTO John Donovan said the carrier is trying to keep pace with a mobile data traffic surge of 3,000 percent over the past three years. He said AT&T has been upgrading fiber backhaul links to its cell sites.
T-Mobile USA has been rolling out HSPA+ on its network and marketing the service as "4G." The operator plans to cover 100 markets and 200 million POPs with HSPA+ by year-end.
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