AT&T said it plans to begin LTE trials in 2010, with deployment earmarked to start in 2011. In the meantime, the U.S. operator is upgrading its HSPA network to offer peak downlink speeds of 7.2 megabits per second, while adding 2,100 new cell sites and boosting backhaul capacity by adding fibre-optic connectivity to thousands of cell sites. AT&T is aiming to introduce multiple HSPA 7.2-compatible laptop cards and smart phones beginning later this year.
AT&T said it has used 850 MHz spectrum in more than half of its 3G network footprint to improve overall coverage and in-building reception, with additional markets planned for later in the year. The U.S. operator is also looking to offload data traffic onto its Wi-Fi hotspots where possible. source: AT&T statement