Instead of skipping right from 3G to 4G, AT&T now says it will upgrade its current wireless network to support HSPA+, which is capable of offering 14.4Mbps speeds, twice that of what its customers can currently access.
AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey made the announcement at a Reuters event last week. He said the faster speeds might be available by the end of the year, which is good news for a lot of iPhone users out there. No word yet what cities will be first to see the upgrade, but Stankey says those speeds will reach 250 million customers.
The company will continue to prepare for its 4G rollout, which is expected to happen sometime next year. AT&T has been criticized for being slow to get on the 4G bandwagon. Sprint and its partner, Clearwire, have started rolling out 4G WiMAX this year, and Verizon Wireless is expected to be ready with its LTE network early in 2011. This move should fend off some of the flak.