AT&T CTO HSDPA progressing, HSUPA in test phase

At last year's 3GSM World Congress, Kris Rinne, CTO of AT&T (formerly Cingular) and chairperson of the 3G America's Board of Governors, was the belle of the ball because AT&T was the first GSM operator to deploy HSDPA. That isn't the case today. In an interview with FierceWireless, Rinne said that 96 operators have deployed HSDPA this year and AT&T is currently testing HSUPA.

The AT&T executive said that the wireless carrier is continuing to expand its HSDPA markets and is looking at LTE (long-term evolution), but she doesn't expect that to be deployed until the 2011 to 2012 time frame.  "There's lots of energy left in HSPA," Rinne says. 

Regarding Sprint's planned deployment of WiMAX technology, Rinne believes her competitor will have a big challenge ahead. "WiMAX is challenging from a global scale," she said, adding that Sprint will have a lot to address when it comes to backwards compatibility and integration with its existing 1xEV-DO network.

Although rumors are circulating about problems with AT&T's EOTD E911 location technology, Rinne says that the company has complied with all accuracy requirements and has been in compliance with the FCC requirements for every quarter in 2006. Nevertheless, AT&T is planning to use GPS location technology for E911 in its 3G network so it can provide additional services such as location-based applications.