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AT&T: 3G to hold out for 2-3 more years

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed October 1, 2008

ATT Says 3G Lasts 2-3 Yrs

Those expecting AT&T to make a quick transition to 4G are likely to be disappointed, AT&T's Architecture VP Hank Kafka said yesterday at the 4G Executive Summit. The executive says there is no immediate urge to transition to the Long Term Evolution standard, as the company's current HSPA and upcoming 20Mbps HSPA+ 3G networks should provide good coverage for the next two to three years by building on top of an existing legacy network rather than reworking service from the ground up.

LTE's speeds, which in separate tests have run as high as 170Mbps, are still coming to AT&T but are less of a priority. The advanced network should be "significantly available" to a large portion of AT&T's subscriber base no more than five years from now, Kafka says.

He also downplays this week's launch of Sprint's Xohm service and its WiMAX roots. The technology has a shorter range than 3G and so is less expensive to run than WiMAX, as more sparsely populated areas can be covered by fewer towers.

Sprint's service is also potentially slower than HSPA+, as the carrier estimates peak Xohm speeds at 10Mbps and real-world conditions between 2Mbps and 4Mbps. AT&T hasn't yet estimated the practical speeds for its HSPA+ deployment.

by MacNN Staff



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  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    check ur awareness level



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  1. jslove

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Copy-edit needed

    The penultimate paragraph made my brain hurt.

    The technology has a shorter range than 3G


    and so is less expensive to run than WiMAX, as more sparsely populated areas can be covered by fewer towers.

    The sentence is not parallel. In the first part, "the technology" which is Xohm and therefore WiMAX, is the subject, while it the second part, the subject has clearly somehow mutated to 3G. Thus, it appears to contradict itself. This needs either to make the clauses parallel, or make one of the clauses subordinate.

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Financial Crisis

    I hope the current financial crisis doesn't slow down deployment of faster wireless and wired networks like Uverse. ATT recently said that the banks aren't lending money anymore and that throws capital spending plans into limbo.

    Of course, the same conditions apply to all the carriers, so that doesn't put ATT at a competitive disadvantage, it just hurts us consumers.

  1. king_rhoton

    Joined: Dec 1969




    Correct! However, your final sentence ("This needs either to make the clauses parallel, or make one of the clauses subordinate.") merely contains a compound predicate and, as such, does not require a comma.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    nothing like throwing in a little FUD in there. Xohm is "potentially" slower than our HSPA service, which, BTW, doesn't actually exist yet (not that Xohm exists anywhere but Baltimore, but at least it exists).

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not to mention...

    what's with MacNN and their sometimes quirky titles??! Leave it to the stupid newspapers and cable t.v. shows, okay. When you say "3G to holdout", it makes it seem as if 3G is not going to be implemented for the next "2-3 years". Like how a football player 'holds out' for more money before signing with a team. A better word choice would have been "reign". If your title read, "AT&T: 3G to reign for 2-3 more years". This gives the reader an idea that 3G will "rule" or last for the next 2-3 years. Or are my thoughts wrong? Anybody?

  1. Dan Robinson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It Was Ever Thus

    Ain't it the truth!

    3G doesn't work well now.
    It'll take 3 - 4 years to make it work.
    When they get it to work, they'll replace it with something that DOESN'T work.

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