AT&T: HSPA will provide 20 Mbps data speeds

During a presentation this morning at Morgan Stanley's 13th Annual Communications Conference in Washington, D.C, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said that he believes AT&T has a time-to-market advantage over WiMAX with its HSPA technology. De la Vega said that HSPA Release 7 will give the company 7 Mbps to 20 Mbps data speeds within the next two years and the company will only have to deploy a software upgrade. "When people talk about future technologies like WiMAX, they don't realize it doesn't do any good to just have it in the network. They have to have devices, coverage and the entire ecosystem," he said. "We have the best broadband network with the best throughput today. And it will get better in the short term." Of course, the company does plan to migrate to LTE technology in 2010, bringing data speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

De la Vega also touted the company's exclusive deal with RIM to distribute its new Blackberry Bold device, which he believes that along with the Apple iPhone and other advanced devices will help increase the number of postpaid subscribers using integrated devices on the AT&T network. Currently 16 percent of postpaid subscribers on AT&T have integrated devices but de la Vega said this figure will grow substantially in the year ahead. "We have seen that when you give integrated devices to customers, the ARPU is double what you get with an average phone," he said. "If you make the devices easier to use and more intuitive to the user, you will see the usage go up."

For more:
- see the replay of de la Vega's presentation here.

Related stories:
AT&T to launch 3G BlackBerry Bold. See this Blackberry Bold story 
AT&T extends 3G deployments, backs LTE for 4G. See this AT&T LTE story