Rinne: AT&T has 21% of global HSPA market

CHICAGO--During the opening keynote address at the Yankee Group/Trendsmedia-sponsored 4G World conference today, Kris Rinne, senior vice president of architecture and planning at AT&T, said the carrier is responding to consumer demand for more data--a demand that has increased nearly 5,000 percent over the past 12 quarters. "We are building a network to meet the needs of our customers," Rinne said. "We are working incredibly hard with our partners to make the experience a great one."

Specifically, Rinne said that AT&T is deploying HSPA on its 850 MHz spectrum to increase bandwidth and capacity and enhancing in-building coverage. The company announced last week that it had deployed HSPA in 850 MHz spectrum in Atlanta, New York City and Houston. "We have seen immediate improvement when we turned up 850 MHz," Rinne said.

Rinne also reiterated AT&T's plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in six cities by year-end and 25 of the top 30 markets by year-end 2010. She noted that AT&T already leads the industry in HSPA deployment; according to the GSM Association, AT&T has 21 percent of the global HSPA subscriber base.

Of course, all these HSPA 7.2 upgrades won't help consumers unless there are compatible devices. Rinne said AT&T will launch six HSPA 7.2-compatible devices by year-end, and this number doesn't include embedded laptops and PC cards.

Other notable comments from Rinne's speech this morning:

  • AT&T will continue to look at HSPA+ but has no plans to deploy it;
  • Rinne considers AT&T a leader in offloading 3G traffic to WiFi because of its 20,000 WiFi hotspots;
  • AT&T continues to trial femtocells but Rinne offered no update on a possible commercial deployment;
  • Rinne believes voice-over-LTE technology will be deployed in the 2012 time frame, but said that standards are still being determined.

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