AT&T might not call its HSPA+ network “4G” like T-Mobile does, but trust us when we tell you… AT&T’s enhanced 3G network can move. The screen shot above, taken just outside New York city on Wednesday afternoon, shows an iPhone 4 enjoying download speeds of 5Mbps on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. According to AT&T CTO John Donovan, 80% of AT&T’s network is now covered by HSPA+, though he did not elaborate on average speeds are experienced in various regions. Donovan also discussed the growth rate of data traffic on the carrier’s network, which is up 3,000% over the past three years — from approximately 1 billion MB in Q3 2007 to a staggering 30.3 billion MB in Q3 2010. Growth has slowed in recent months, from 50% growth in Q2 of this year to 30% in Q3, but the carrier isn’t expecting its data growth rate to continue decreasing. AT&T is currently preparing to launch an LTE network next year that will be even faster than its HSPA+ network, which has a theoretical downlink limit of 21Mbps. AT&T has not publicly stated firm speed expectations for its LTE network.


Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than a decade, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.