AT&T Delivers 3G Wireless Broadband Speed Boost with New-Generation Network Technologies and LaptopConnect Card
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has announced that the Sierra Wireless AirCard 881 LaptopConnect card is now available, enabling laptop users to take full advantage of the faster broadband speeds the company is deploying in its 3G wireless network.
Compatible with High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technologies, the AirCard 881 PC will enable average upload speeds between 500 Kbps and 800 Kbps as AT&T commences the industry’s first U.S. deployment of High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA). After completion of comprehensive testing and certification, AT&T is rolling out HSUPA technology in its network today, with availability to be announced in select U.S. markets later this fall.
The AirCard 881 PC also supports enhanced HSDPA download speeds ranging between 600 to 1,400 Kbps. The faster download speeds provide an optimal wireless Internet-browsing experience, while the upcoming faster upload speeds will enhance users’ ability to send large files, such as videos, photos or business documents.
“As our customers use our wireless network to access the incredible variety of information, entertainment and other services now available to them, the need for continuously improved data speeds is critically important,” said Michael Woodward, AT&T vice president of wireless products. “With the Air Card 881, our data customers will experience significantly improved download speeds today and will be able to take full advantage of faster upload speeds as HSUPA is deployed in the AT&T network.”
Like the AirCard 875 LaptopConnect card and the AirCard 875U USB device — both already available from AT&T — the AirCard 881 offers tri-band 3G connectivity and is compatible with mobile broadband networks worldwide, including such countries as Japan and South Korea, making it an ideal choice for international travelers. For use in areas in which HSPA coverage is not yet available, the AirCard 881 PC card is also compatible with all four EDGE/GPRS frequency bands used worldwide. AT&T’s nationwide* EDGE network is the largest national high speed wireless data network in the U.S.
“We are excited about the potential of HSUPA technology to deliver a better mobile broadband experience for users and consider it a privilege to provide AT&T customers with the first devices that enable them to take advantage of the network upgrade,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales for Sierra Wireless. “The significantly higher upload speeds that HSUPA provides, combined with the card’s robust design and worldwide roaming capability, make the AirCard 881 a remarkably useful tool for mobile professionals and others who need a fast, reliable way to send and receive a lot of information while on the go.”
The Sierra Wireless AirCard 881 will be available for purchase across AT&T sales channels starting Oct. 18. The AirCard 881 will be available at no cost — after rebates — through Nov. 3 with a new two-year DataConnect contract of $59.99 a month or higher at AT&T retail stores nationwide, online at www.wireless.att.com and through AT&T’s business-to-business sales organizations.
AT&T offers a variety of DataConnect rate plans, including a $59.99 a month plan for customers with a two-year contract. AT&T’s DataConnect North American plan of 100MB for $109.99 a month provides for usage in select Canada and Mexico roam zones. The DataConnect Global plan of 100MB for $139.99 a month covers data usage in select roam zones in more than two dozen countries, including many European countries, India, China, South Korea and Japan.
AT&T HSUPA Deployment
The deployment of HSUPA will complete the transition of the AT&T 3G network to HSPA standards. HSDPA technology is deployed today across the company’s 3G footprint, which includes more than 200 U.S. major metropolitan areas. HSUPA will be added throughout the network in the remainder of 2007 and early 2008, and new AT&T 3G deployments moving forward will include both HSPA technologies.
HSUPA technology initially provides enhanced upload speeds for laptop users. Additional LaptopConnect cards and other HSUPA-compatible devices are expected to be certified by AT&T later this year and in 2008.
The HSPA network enhancements demonstrate AT&T’s continuing commitment to deploying a network that delivers the industry’s best wireless experience. Over the last three years, the company has invested more than $18 billion to build the scope and capability of its wireless network while focusing on the service criteria that matter most to customers — widespread voice and data coverage, high speed data connectivity, service flexibility and service reliability and quality.
* Not available in all areas