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AT&T Says 7.2Mbps Wireless Coming This Year

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ubiquity-should-be-more-widespread dept.

Wireless Networking 141

CWmike writes "AT&T will upgrade to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 wireless networking technology later this year, offering faster (up to 7.2 Mbit/sec.) network speeds to new compatible laptop cards and smartphones due to be released at the same time, the company said today. Current HSPA download speeds can theoretically reach 3.6 MBit/sec, according to AT&T executives who commented on the planned upgrade in April. AT&T did not comment on which laptop cards and smartphones will be compatible with HSPA 7.2 other than to say it will introduce 'multiple' devices later this year. Could this be one of the big iPhone announcements to come from WWDC?"

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Wireless (1, Offtopic)

Aahzimandious (1424393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113287)

And if I can get a good internet connection for a decent price with all this.. SCREW YOU! TIME WARNER!

Re:Wireless (4, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113335)

Haha. This is AT&T. You'll be limited to 3GB a month. 7.2 is burst not sustained. And if your neighbor thinks like you do, you'll both be using the same tower. Somehow I doubt AT&T is going to run fiber to each tower to support a large number of users.

Re:Wireless (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113395)

Not only that, but there aren't enough circuits, so even though your phone will show 5 bars... as soon as you try to make a call, send a text, or transfer any data, it will immediately drop to 0 or 1 bars, and then say no service.

Yes, this happens on the north side in Chicago all the time.

Who cares if their towers are supporting some new transport/band between the tower and your phone... if they don't have enough circuits, or they don't have enough bandwidth going to each tower in the first place, it is pretty much worthless -- and that has been my experience for the past year in Chicago with my iPhone.

Re:Wireless (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114987)

Couldn't agree more. iPhone works like complete shit where I am unless I log into my home wireless network with cable internet. On 3G it's slower than 14.4 modem. The internet is virtually unusable for anything but gmail. Weather info almost never updates. The iPhone has great potential, but in my experience it basically just sucks shit in real life when running on AT&T's network, and isn't worth the money - especially since it's far faster to text with a full qwerty keypad.

Re:Wireless (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28115605)

From: This Article [pcworld.com]

The upgrade to the faster network is just one part of AT&T's plans to boost its overall network... In addition, AT&T plans on increasing its radio-frequency capacity by a factor of almost double, which it says will help with both overall coverage and in-building reception; adding more bandwidth to cell sites, to help accommodate more traffic and prepare for both HSPA 7.2 and LTE; rolling out over 2,000 more cell sites nationwide; and introducing femtocell technology for improved in-building coverage.

As you can see, they do in fact plan on adding bandwidth to existing towers as well as adding additional towers. If this is correct, you should start seeing improvements, not only in speed but in reception as well.

Re:Wireless (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113561)

You'll be limited to 3GB a month.

No, it'll be "unlimited", but the 7.2 is the whole tower. Fun times ahead.

Re:Wireless (2, Interesting)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113593)

5gb a month actually. Shared local OC3. To most in cities anyway.

Re:Wireless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113669)

And, in case you were curious, that comes in at just under an hour [google.com] of access.

Re:Wireless (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114875)

Well, here are a few things to keep in mind:

-You used 3 gigs. Its unlimited for phones, 5gb for laptop connect devices.
-7.2 mbps is a theoretical maximum. With the current theoretical limit of 3.6, you can realistically expect 700kbps-1.7mbps, so my guess is that it will only be roughly 1.5-2 times that.
-It is against the terms of service (that you, believe it or not, agreed to) to use 3g for streaming media, large file downloads, etc (high bandwidth stuff basically)
-Your wireless laptop may not be the best choice for running a world of warcraft server anyway.

If you re-do the math, it comes out to http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=5GB+/+1.4+Mbps&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi= [google.com]
8 hours of absolute maximum useage really is not that bad.

You could always tether over wap though if you really really need unlimited 3g though.

Re:Wireless (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113893)

7.2 Mbps is the per cell maximum throughput. There won't be any phones that can sustain that. Not just because the coverage requirements to be granted the highest data rates will be so rare, but because of fifo limitations in the phones.

What this sort of upgrade does is to allow the operator to carry twice as much traffic with the same physical resources (i.e. towers, antennas, licensed spectrum). With usage based billing, it is in the best interest of the carrier to make sure that both you and your neighbour are able to transmit as much as possible, so don't worry about it being shared.

And I guarantee you AT&T will be running fibre to each base station (eventually at least). With a minimal 3 base station with 3 cells (3 sectors, single frequency), the site needs 7.2 Mbps times 3 of back haul plus overhead, so even a T3 is tight.

Re:Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114229)

you forgot the best feature of this announcement though...

Now they can say "Get 7.2Mbps for the low low price of $100 a month!" then in the fine print no one can see without a magnifying glass it will have the limits of how much can be used and that the big bold letters of 7.2Mbps isn't standard and your speed will be much much less (some wheres in the 200kbps range)but hey what's a company supposed to do, tell the customers the truth?

Re:Wireless (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113753)

No, not going to happen. We moved out to the boonies, where cable and DSL were not an option, but the ATT coverage map said we had the best 3G signal available.

Bought the 3G card, tried it at work. Got 5 bars, worked great. I could download 1.5Mb/sec all day long. Move to the house... 5 bars, still says 3G. IF I could get speedtest.net to give me the page, I would usually show about 100k. It would drop constantly. I had to return during the buyers remorse period.

Went to alltel and quickly got a new account (this was shortly after verizon bought them) with UNLIMITED data. It was the only unlimited anyone offered. Now I get 700 on the best days, but I can consistently connect to it.

Looked at hughesnet and wildblue, both had ridiculous terms, caps and latency.

iPhone? (-1, Redundant)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113315)

Is is any coincidence that this announcement is coming out so soon to what the new rumoured iPhone is to be announced (next month?)

Re:iPhone? (5, Funny)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113443)

Is it any coincidence you thought of the exact same thing as the summary?

Re:iPhone? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113907)

At least his sig is appropriate.

Re:iPhone? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114147)

"Is it any coincidence you thought of the exact same thing as the summary?"

Oops..I just skimmed it. I often don't read the very last line of most things...I usually assume the meat of the story is in the first part.

They Didn't Mention You'll Still Drop Calls (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113333)

Right in the middle of a metropolitan area.

Can you hear me now?....Nope.

Re:They Didn't Mention You'll Still Drop Calls (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113509)

Amen to this... They need to spend a bit more on towers. 1Gbps won't matter if I my phone can't get a signal.

Theoretically... (4, Insightful)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113337)

Current HSPA download speeds can theoretically reach 3.6 MBit/sec,

There is no difference between theory and practice in theory, but there is in practice.

Misquote (2, Informative)

Prune (557140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113733)

The actual quote is: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Source is either Yogi Berra or Chuck Reid.

Re:Misquote (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114557)

I had heard it said more than one way, and never attributed to anyone. I learn something new every day. Thanks.

Re:Misquote (1)

chiguy (522222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115007)

The actual quote is: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Source is either Yogi Berra or Chuck Reid.

How do you know it's a misquote if you don't even know who said it?

Re:Misquote (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115519)

It is attributed to Yogi at this site
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/y/yogi_berra.html [brainyquote.com] . His quotes often have a signature mental disconnect in them... and it makes many of them quite funny. Some examples of quotes attributed to Yogi are:

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.

I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.

I just want to thank everyone who made this day necessary.

I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

I never said most of the things I said.

I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.

If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.

If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

It ain't over till it's over.

It ain't the heat, it's the humility.

It gets late early out there.

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

It's like deja-vu, all over again.

And on and on and on... forever redefining the plain spoken guy.

Re:Theoretically... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113899)

Man, you butchered that saying.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

Re:Theoretically... (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114129)

That's your theory.

Re:Theoretically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114533)

in communist Russia, theory practices you!

Re:Theoretically... (1)

Dr.Who (146770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116485)

Customers experience q*Fw
where:
q = the fraction of theoretical maximum bandwidth
Fw = the theoretical maximum bandwidth

Most customers would benefit from a larger fraction of the existing maximum theoretical bandwidth rather than a higher theoretical maximum.

Great. (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113393)

But they will still limit the kinds of traffic on their network.

Re:Great. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113435)

back in the 1990's akamai had this great idea to position data all over the internet for better performance. in 2009 we have people whining that AT&T won't let them stream data from their DVR.

the right way to do this is something like VZ's Get it Now. store the data on the telco network for better performance.

Re:Great. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113747)

VZ Wireless, where they cripple the phones so you use their services (....and pay).

Re:Great. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114909)

Which is specifically why I switched to T-Mobile. Loved the free calling to my family and slightly better coverage, but T-Mobile is much less expensive for the services I get, and has much better customer service.

Thanks, but no thanks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113397)

Do something about your residential Internet service first. Cable has DOCSIS 3 now.

$$$ per 'tube' (4, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113449)

sure, they'll let you use port 80, 8080, and maybe even 443 but what cost is the freedom to use the bandwidth for what _you_ want to use it for? Didn't I see where T-Mobile's G1 _unlimited_ data plan bills you extra for Chat and IM and I would guess they block the standard VOIP port(s) too.

 

The Internet may be thought of by some as a "bunch of tubes" but these companies are carving it up so they control what you do on the "tube". Speed isn't the only thing that's important here.

 

LoB

Re:$$$ per 'tube' (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113603)

AT&T has not historically done content filtering of any sort for wireless customers.

I have never had any restriction on the ability to use IM, SSH, or other protocols when using my AT&T phone.

I haven't tried VOIP because the latency of the cellular data connection is simply too high for VOIP.

Re:$$$ per 'tube' (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115513)

a T-mobile customer said that they only charge extra for Texting and don't do anything to restrict ports on the TCP/IP stack. Sounds like AT&T are currently doing the same. Great and let's make sure they continue this way.

LoB

Re:$$$ per 'tube' - MY Boss Uses VOIP over 3G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28116249)

And has been for 2 years now. Started with laptop and moved to a cradlepoint hotspot with 3G USB modem. He dropped the land line and has been ecstatic with this and his Via Talk service.

AT&T sucks in most places but apparently not near his house in the boonies.

Re:$$$ per 'tube' (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114385)

Didn't I see where T-Mobile's G1 _unlimited_ data plan bills you extra for Chat and IM and I would guess they block the standard VOIP port(s) too.

I own a G1 and also have T-Mobile's 'unlimited' data plan for it. Operating in or outside the 3G coverage area I do not incur extra fees for Chat/IM as it operates over the standard TCP/IP stack on the device. Unfortunately text messages are not transmitted over the TCP/IP stack as they were with the Sidekick, so you are required to elect a certain amount of texts per month at their normal costly fees.

Additionally all other ports are open from my usage on the device. In fact the device even has it's own public IP address, although I'm not sure it accepts in-bound connections from internet addresses.

Re:$$$ per 'tube' (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114561)

that's good to know because it sure sounded like it was more than just texting that they were splitting out and charging extra for. Thanks for clearing that up.

LoB

Create an Account, or post as Anonymous Coward. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113503)

make: *** No rule to make target `it'. Stop

Let me know when you're on LTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113529)

Along with the other major carriers. Maybe then we can get some better competition in the US wireless market.

Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113547)

... please don't forget about the large number of your customers who are paying for 3G access and still have none before you go about upgrading existing 3G networks. It was announced that 3G was coming to my area by year's end at the beginning of the year... It's now June... You have 6 months left, jerks...

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1, Troll)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113587)

It's now June (Checks calendar) :-0 You must be in a different time zone.

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

Eric Elliott (736554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113701)

What are complaining about? 3G is less than 1.8 Gb/S peak speed, never faster to me. Did you really expect 3.6 Gb/S?

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

Enuratique (993250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113763)

That's fine and dandy like sour candy, however, I only get EDGE where I live... It can't even run the SpeedTest.net app. It's essentially worse than a 14.4 kbps modem. I'd kill for 1.8 Gb/s!

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

Eric Elliott (736554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114429)

RU on an ATT cell or a local telco cell? Since 2007, I have only seen such slow ATT data service on non ATT towers. You might want to trace route; ATT will not usually admit now owning the local very sorry cell. I have gotten greatly improved service on a given tower by persisting with (not)Technical Support till Network Support gave me a ticket #.

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

thebes (663586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114295)

Gigabits per siemens?

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (1)

Eric Elliott (736554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114463)

S is standard abbreviation for second.

Re:Hey Jerks at AT&T... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114829)

Actually, s is the standard symbol for seconds, S is the standard symbol for Siemens. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=SI+system+symbols [lmgtfy.com]

They ran fibre to our local tower. (4, Insightful)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113559)

"New high speed internet" they said, "faster than anything you seen before". Now I could be wrong but for some reason cell service went to shit. Coincidence? I live 2 miles away from the tower with direct line of sight. And the problem isn't just signal strength but weird noises, echoes and interference.

Re:They ran fibre to our local tower. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114103)

AT&T moved voice and EDGE onto 1900Mhz to make room on 900Mhz for 3G service. Now EDGE service is so poor you can't stream music at all over it, works fine on T-Mobile EDGE.

Re:They ran fibre to our local tower. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114123)

Err, make that 850Mhz for 3G.

Re:They ran fibre to our local tower. It's the WT. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114425)

It's the WIRETAPPING. So much tracking and forwarding shit must be embedded in all the traffic that the intertubes are going bonkers.

Seriously, though, i wonder which -- if any -- of their "multiple devices" will support Linux, as in work from kppp, at a minimum. If Sierra is a provider, hopefully it will be available AND work from day one, not day 72. This OS-stratification crap/game played by service providers and hardware makers has to end. Design the hardware to work with minimum communication by the OS and tell ms to talk to the card, not the card talk to ms. Tell Mac to talk to the card, not the card kiss up. This way, maybe Open Source OS's can have a more level playing field to get onto. OTOH, many of these hardware choices might work with Linux, but have their APIs deliberately obfuscated to delay uptake of non-ms OS's...

Re:They ran fibre to our local tower. (3, Insightful)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115661)

Oddly enough, "direct line of sight" actually decreases the data rate of MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) systems like HSPA. As MIMO uses the multiple physical wireless channels created by obstructions and reflections between a set of antennas at both transmitter and receiver to increase the bandwidth, a perfectly clear path hurts your data rate. Unless there are obstacles to bounce the signal around a bit, you only get one physical channel, as the path between any pair of antennas is essentially the same.

In practice, such pure physical channels usually only appear out in the open countryside--and besides, if you are referring to AT&T's EDGE or non-HSPA 3G, then it isn't MIMO... just crappy AT&T.

But it's nice to know, isn't it?

heh! (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113565)

"New & Improved" pig in a poke, get yours today while supplies last!

string cheese (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113575)

As above posters mentioned, AT&T's service always comes with so many strings that it's hardly worth paying for. Plus their high speed coverage generally only extends to large urban areas.

Anyone have any comments on Verizon's data service offerings? I'd potentially like to do a tethered modem or a MiFi type device. I'm tired of the iPhone and it's inability to anything truly useful without jailbreaking it.

Re:string cheese (2, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113955)

Plus their high speed coverage generally only extends to large urban areas.

Oddly enough, this is where most people live.

Re:string cheese (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114189)

Yes, that's exactly why it is so, the most people for the least cels. However, if you don't live in a big city (I don't) or are 'on the road' or like to travel around the rural areas and small towns of this great nation and have pretty consistent coverage, it's a poor option.

Japan is 100% 3G even in outlying areas, though I am sure NTT DoCoMo probably has a lot of Government subsidy and assistance to pull that off and is something of a monopoly. Still, the relative cost of cel service with unlimited data in Japan was pretty cheap last time I asked my friend in Tokyo.

It would be nice if one of the cel companies could figure out how to be like FedEx - i.e. offer to deliver to practically anywhere, knowing full well that the rural areas will be run at a loss on a # of subscribers per cel basis, with the urban subscribers making up for it.

Then there is the problem with the ultra-greenies here in CA, not even allowing a well disguised cel tower in areas such as big sur and the north coast, along Highway 1.

Re:string cheese (2, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114595)

I don't want to make excuses for telcos, but do you mean the Japan that is half the size of Texas?

Re:string cheese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114805)

lat time i checked CA alone is much larger than the land area of Japan (163,707 sq. miles and 144,689 sq. miles respectively) the US is over 3.5 Million sq. miles (all data courtesy of Wolfram | Alpha) unless of course the san andreas fault shoved half the state into the see and nobody noticed yet. either way the budget deficit in California would probably be a huge obstacle to creating or improving public wireless data transfer- most people want Police, Firefighters, running water, and trash services first... go figure. getting back to the point at hand, the undertaking of providing consistent wireless signal of any sort (other than satellite, which already exists) would far outweigh the benefits. the average population density in the US is 87 people per square mile, in Japan its 884. lets do some rational thought before we go making wild demands and assertions with no rational logic, shall we?

up to 7.2 Mbit/sec... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113619)

...provided you are standing within spitting distance of a cellular tower.

A new buzzword milestone: this new technology doubles the theoretical data rate that nobody actually sees!

HSDPA capable phones available now (4, Informative)

dziman (415307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113633)

Some phones already have the HSDPA 7.2Mbps capability. AT&T has just neutered their firmware through various settings. Luckily, for some phones, you can just revert these settings, and in some places, receive 7.2Mbps today.

For example, the HTC Fuze/Touch Pro can do 7.2Mbps after some registry tweaks.

Re:HSDPA capable phones available now (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114073)

Some phones already have the HSDPA 7.2Mbps capability. AT&T has just neutered their firmware through various settings. Luckily, for some phones, you can just revert these settings, and in some places, receive 7.2Mbps today. For example, the HTC Fuze/Touch Pro can do 7.2Mbps after some registry tweaks.

*It's probably important to note that this does not include the iPhone: For those of you who own an iPhone, read this and get the warm fuzzies in your pants... :-) It simply doesn't have the hardware for it.

Yeah, okay (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113649)

I have AT&T for my DSL and I can't even get their 6 Mbps DSL connection with a WIRE. And they want me to believe they're going to give me 7 Mbps on my cellphone?

Re:Yeah, okay (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116053)

What do you mean you can't get 6 Mbps DSL? Did they test your line? You may be beyond the distance and they should downgrade your speed accordingly. I have 6 Mbps DSL and pretty consistently get 5 Mbps or so which I believe is just about maximum real life speed for a "6 Mbps" DSL connection with AT&T when you factor in protocol overhead.

One word... (3, Insightful)

ComboWombo (1427961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113719)

Backhaul You can have 7.2Mbps to the base station, but from all accounts, the backhaul from said base stations SUCKS, so you won't get anywhere near that. Thats the sneaky trick. They offer UP TO 7.2Mpbs, but really its dependant on backhaul, and how said backhaul has been configured. Expect throughput of about 500kbps

500kbps, you're still joking, Right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114205)

Expect throughput of about 500kbps

EDGE got us maybe 70kbps tops. 3G now gives us short bursts of 200kbps, dropping down to maybe 120kbps sustained if we're lucky. This is for aircards in our laptops. We just tested Verizon's EVDO and got 1.2mbps bursts on download, with 500-600kbps sustained, but still only 70-90kbps up.

Cellphone wireless data still sucks.

Re:One word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114261)

Hey, that's almost 20x faster than dial-up.

What a joke! (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113785)

My internet connectivity has always sucked on my phone, badly enough that it's never been more than a novelty, not an asset. If my real-world experience was even close to my "theoretical" service, I wouldn't give a damn about upgrading. Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining!

EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113825)

Hello? in EU we have 14.4mbit with unlimited bandwidth and no need for contract (you just go to a kiosk and buy a SIM for your own device)

Re:EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28116067)

Wow, you're awesome. I bet you get so happy thinking about how awesome you are that you burst into pretty little Eurotears at the drop of a hat.

Tethering? (1)

tulmad (25666) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113915)

Of course, you still won't be allowed to use your iPhone as a modem (yes, I know it's possible, just not approved by AT&T).

Cool! (1)

Akita24 (1080779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113921)

DHS/NSA/CIA/FBI/TLA du jour must have upgraded their monitoring software to something really fast! I mean AT&T can't supply more bandwidth than what the federal agency's they're warentlessly giving everything to can process it. Can they?

Re:Cool! (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114621)

AT&T: Your World Delivered... to the NSA.

overage city, faster (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113927)

great, even more ways to get to overage city even faster.

now, if they are getting rid of the cap and make it truly unlimited...then fine.

just means you'll hit ATT's 5GB limit even sooner (3, Insightful)

deisher (188389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28113993)

Even if we assume that their speed claims are true, the benefit of this new product will be severely limited if ATT Wireless retains their currently policy of charging $0.25/MB once users hit their monthly limit of 5GB. I finally gave up on ATT because it was such a pain to monitor my usage and stop normal broadband activity (e.g., youtube, etc.) near the end of every month when I got close to the limit.

Re:just means you'll hit ATT's 5GB limit even soon (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114297)

5GB a month is not enough? And you hit that mark watching youtube?
My god man... why do you insist on subjecting yourself to the crapfest that is youtube?
And even if they actually had something worthwhile, why can't you cozy up somewhere that offers wifi?
3G access is slow as molasses on a cold day. I'm surprised you were able to even hit 5GB in a month on that joke of a network.

Re:just means you'll hit ATT's 5GB limit even soon (1)

deisher (188389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116347)

I live 10 miles outside a city. No DSL, no cable, no FIOS, no Wifi, no WiMAX, etc. With the ATT 3G service I was routinely getting around 1.2 Mbps down which was sufficient for my needs. I could easily reach the 5GB limit in less than a month of reasonable usage. Youtube was just an example. There are lots of other compelling broadband services. A local WISP started offering 900 MHz 2Mbps (measured peak bandwidth!) service and even offered to give me a discount to offset the $150 fee that ATT charges to break the contract. It was an easy decision to switch.

Re:just means you'll hit ATT's 5GB limit even soon (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116417)

My local WISP uses WiFi (I think) with big fat directional antennae and Mikrotik routerboards on PoE in a metal box on the mast. The antenna grill alone is fifty bucks if you get it cheap, fun times. I get about the same speeds as you, sometimes at peak I've seen it as low as 400kbps but in general it makes me very happy... for fifty bucks a month. Anyone with the misfortune to be in Lake County, California should visit http://www.airlinkweb.com/ [airlinkweb.com] if they can't get cable. Mediacom is a bunch of bastards, but they do kick out some fat transfer rates. DSL customers might at least do no works on Airlink. (Yes, that is an extremely overloaded name.)

If you use me as a referral then I get ten bucks, but even if you don't I get more financial security for my ISP.

Re:just means you'll hit ATT's 5GB limit even soon (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116541)

Even if we assume that their speed claims are true, the benefit of this new product will be severely limited if ATT Wireless retains their currently policy of charging $0.25/MB once users hit their monthly limit of 5GB.

I've been looking at AT&T plans online because they buy every fucking cellphone company I get service from anyway (and they own every tower worth a fuck in my county, too... since buying Edge Wireless) and they advertise "Unlimited Data" with the "PDA Personal" option. The version of PDA Personal "with tethering" is advertised as 5GB. I searched the plan terms [att.com] for "unlimited" and none of the limitations seemed to apply to data.

So, just to clarify, is the "Unlimited" plan limited to 5GB? Or do these complaints only apply to the tethered connections? Further, if you get a tethered plan, do you still get unlimited data to your handheld? And finally, is there something like SLIRP of old that will let you effectively have unlimited tethered data anyway? I'm seriously thinking about getting the refurb HTC Fuze on the premise that it will probably run Angstrom someday. Some other HTC devices seem to be working...

Wirless speeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28113995)

7.2Mbps or greater wireless? That's awesome, I'm still waiting for greater than 6Mbps wired DSL....

Notice: The Latecy Will Actually Be Decent (3, Informative)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114127)

I know people are going to argue that cellular wireless suffers from awful latency, making this completely unviable for anything but light web surfing...

I'd like to preemptively note that I've heard HSDPA has very good latency [wikipedia.org] for wireless... at least on paper.

This is merely anecdotal, I also hear others talking about 60-80ms latency, which is *great* compared to other common cellular data technologies such as Edge and 3G. It might not be perfect for gaming, but it should be suitable for multimedia providing the cellular network has the balls to handle it.

Re:Notice: The Latecy Will Actually Be Decent (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116863)

I play Xbox Live games all the time over my Verizon 3G broadband service. EVE Online works just fine, too. I typically get under 100ms latency riding the EVDO signal. It helps to use a 3rd party 3G router, like the ones from Cradlepoint. Then your PC is using the network stack, not a PPP/dialup stack, and the reduced overhead improves latency.

1xRTT is dog slow, usually over 300ms.

Got that. works fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28114199)

pff.. 7.2mbit wireless? We've had that for over a year in Denmark. Works too.. I bought mine when it was time for my army duty. Worked on the base (based in a minor town (like 6.000 people)), worked back home (around 20.000 people), works i copenhagen, backseat of a car on the middle of a bridge connecting two of the islands, and on the train.
Also. No limit other than (we'll ask you politly to reduce your bandwidth-use first, if we feel it's too much, and should you ignore, we will limit you).

Also, you actually get between 3 and 6 mbit

-- Happy 3.dk user

Obligatory European Reply: (3, Informative)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114283)

What, don't you people have this already?

I just moved, and since my slowpoke ISP is slow, I won't have ADSL in my new place until one or two weeks from now. To cover the meantime I ordered mobile broadband which is a USB 3G dongle that you can connect to your computer. It can do HSPA, and EDGE and "3G". I'm pretty close to a tower, but I got 2mbps down and 0.2 up, and a latency of about 300ms, so I think I'll keep borrowing my neighbour's wifi instead and just return this instead. The mobile provider also had a campaign right now, so the monthly cost is 0. There is a 5GB cap though (if you hit it, they throttle you to 60kbps), and the regular price is $30 a month.

There, feel free to be envious, rant about how AT&T are screwing the US consumers, curse us Europeans, and possibly, just possibly start the whole broadband country ranking debate again. :-)

Re:Obligatory European Reply: (2, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114483)

There, feel free to be envious, rant about how AT&T are screwing the US consumers, curse us Europeans, and possibly, just possibly start the whole broadband country ranking debate again. :-)

And in the Very next post down [slashdot.org] , less than a minute later...

In Australia they're getting 21Mbps from HSPA+: http://www.fiercebroadbandwireless.com/story/australias-telstra-launches-hspa/2009-02-22 [fiercebroa...reless.com]

And they claim they'll double it by the end of the year (with multicarrier HSPA+?)

<keanu>Whoa.</keanu>

Re:Obligatory European Reply: (1)

skrolle2 (844387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114995)

And in the Very next post down [slashdot.org] , less than a minute later...

I should start a psychic hotline.

Re:Obligatory European Reply: (1)

imroy (755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114831)

How about Australia? Well, Telstra Bigpond [bigpond.com] has 21Mbps HSPA+ with probably very good coverage (can't find a link), Vodafone Australia has 3.6Mbps HSDPA with (soon to be) good coverage [pdslive.com.au] and Optus has a 3G/UMTS network with spotty coverage [optus.com.au] .

The United States has over fifteen times the population of Australia, yet the U.S. has long been behind when it comes to mobile phone technology. Is it the telco monopolies? Is there low demand? It's weird.

Re:Obligatory European Reply: (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116797)

We've got all that in the USA. I started my service so long ago it was unlimited, and my plan is grandfathered, so I don't have any caps and no throttling. I get 2.5mbit/sec up and 670kbit/sec down and under 100ms latency while moored at Isthmus Cove on Catalina Island, 27 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. It's better than the free Wifi at Harbor Reef Restaurant ashore at Two Harbors.

Yes. (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114527)

Could this be one of the big iPhone announcements to come from WWDC?

Yes, it could be.

It's also possible that Apple won't mention anything about this. Next question?

bah (2, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28114939)

Can we please ban the use of "up to" in advertising? The same goes for "as much as" and all their ilk.

How it isn't simply declared false advertising is beyond me.

It's like those super soakers that were advertised as shooting "up to 30 feet!". Yeah, right. Only if you whip your arm about before firing to impart some momentum to the water, then fire downwind at a 37 degree angle in a category 4 hurricane. Otherwise it was more like 10 feet.

How about if the mean average performance of the product isn't at least 80% of the advertised "up to" figure, you don't get to use that figure. Or require that all "up to" claims be accompanied with a bell curve that show people that most of them will be getting significantly less 100% of the time?

SO THRILLED - not (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115123)

Assuming this actually improves SOME people's internet (yeah, I know, big assumption) it means a bit less than diddly squat to many Americans. I can't GET reliable cell service. If I walk out in the yard, and hold the phone at an awkward angle, pointing the antenna *just so* the tower in Texarkana finally makes a connection.

I'd rather see AT&T do something USEFUL. Expand the existing infrastructure, so that rural America can enjoy simple MB speed connections on the internet. And, reduce the rates, so that rural Americans can AFFORD a 1 MB connection. Just because the city boys with union jobs can afford $75/month service, doesn't mean everyone in Backwoods Nowhere has that kind of money.

Maybe good for laptops, but useless for handhelds (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115535)

I still get the feeling that my "leading edge" AT&T Blackberry Bold, with its "fast" Intel XScale 624 MHz processor may be the bottleneck on wireless connections. I'm not sure if it's the high latency of the mobile network, distance-to-tower-related performance degradation, varying network conditions or simple lack of processor horsepower, but I find that it's typically not able to come anywhere close to the theoretical bandwidth limits imposed by the 3.6Mbps 3G network.

I suspect resources would be better spent reducing latency, improving existing tower coverage and adding towers rather than moving to a new bandwidth standard that's guaranteed to result in even lower utilization by the vast majority of existing devices on AT&T's network.

Oh and couldn't finish without one off-topic troll: Am I the only one who finds it literally astounding that I can't complete a conversation on my fancy new 3G Blackberry without at least one drop on the most well traveled commuter highway (101) right in the heart of Silicon Valley?

Re:Maybe good for laptops, but useless for handhel (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116871)

"fast" Intel XScale 624 MHz processor

The quotes are appropriate. XScale gets notoriously poor performance per clock - it's the Pentium 4 of the ARM world. You'd be very lucky to get the same performance from it as from a 400MHz core from another vendor.

YAWWWNNNN!!! (1)

marky_boi (1427845) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115629)

This is no real news to Europe and Australia. 21Mbps is the THEORETICAL maximum.. It will be moved to 42Mbps by years end with Telstra. If you have decent hackhaul life will be sweet

Is this being built only now? (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28115979)

Is there other ISPs offering these or higher speeds, or is AT&T first at implementing this in large scales? While I've read articles here before about the problem of lacking competition between ISPs offering wired connections, I can't see the problem of companys competing over and improving wireless networking.

Here in Sweden we've had HSPA 7.2 since 2006, covering most of the country, with a much lower population density. Some ISPs are currently upgrading to 150Mps 4g, which will be available later this year.

Sweden just got their first 4G base station. (2, Informative)

ckret (321556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116125)

Earlier this week the first 4G base station was installed in central Stockholm.

The next generation mobile technology (LTE) provides speeds up to 150 Mb/s.

Maybe.... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116605)

AT&T should focus on getting their 3G network working better. More coverage, more reliability, and more speed.

Frankly, Verizon's slower EvDO seemed to perform faster and have less issues.

Priorities (1)

beej (82035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28116675)

Could this be one of the big iPhone announcements to come from WWDC?

I hope they're also planning on discontinuing the "call dropping" feature that my iPhone seems to have near-complete support for.

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