According to AT&T mobility vice president of technology realization, Scott McElroy, the wireless carrier is in the process of utilizing major software upgrades and enhancements at base stations. The upgrades are expected to effectively double the capacity of AT&T's high-speed packet access (HSPA) 3G networks from a 3.6Mbps downlink to 7.2Mbps. The tweaks have currently been implemented in two test markets with the hopes of extending the improved capabilities to the entire network.
While AT&T will continue its attempt to saturate the maximum theoretical 14.4Mbps capacity of HSPA, it is also one of the major carriers whose long term evolution (LTE) includes the adoption of a 4G network. While HSPA+ upgrades are expected to come this year, total migration to the standard is unlikely initially as the process requires an entire series of alterations.