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AT&T Ready for 4G Jump

16 сентября 2009

Kris Rinne, senior vice president of architecture & planning for AT&T, gave the audience at 4G World a look at the status of AT&T’s network and how the carrier plans to make the transition to LTE.

“If you want to understand AT&T’s network today, then you need to understand how much data has grown over the past few years,” Rinne said, adding that data usage has grown by nearly 5,000 percent over the past 12 quarters.

And while many would like to attribute that growth almost entirely to the iPhone, Rinne said it’s more complicated than that, citing growing overall netbook and smartphone usage on AT&T’s network. Rinne acknowledged current criticisms of AT&T’s network and said the carrier is working to deal with demands.

Rollouts of 850 MHz HSPA spectrum have improved the situation for some markets. AT&T has invested $38 billion in its wired and wireless networks over the past two years. This year, the company plans to invest an additional $17 billion to $18 billion in its wireless networks.

Rinne cited wide usage of HSPA. A GSMA study said the total number of HSPA devices is now approximately 1,605, and 595 of those devices support 7.2 HSPA. However, Rinne said that AT&T’s LTE plans are on course. She said the carrier will use the entirety of its 700 MHz spectrum exclusively for LTE, which she says will cover 87 percent of the U.S. population.

While Rinne said that initially the number of LTE devices will start out small, she cited an Ovum study that projects exponential growth in LTE devices, predicting more than 14 billion by 2020.

In closing, Rinne expressed confidence that AT&T’s current HSPA network is well suited as a backwards compatible fallback in the interim. But she reiterated AT&T’s focus and commitment on LTE.


Источник: Wireless Week

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