AT&T Upgrading Network for Apple’s New iPhone?

We have heard rumors that Apple's next generation iPhone will have video capabilities and support significantly faster internet connectivity.

All that sounds fantastic on paper, but it's also important for Apple's carrier partners to upgrade their infrastructure to support iPhone's new hardware.

AppleInsider is claiming that based on their source, AT&T is rolling out a major upgrade to its 3G mobile data services in anticipation of a spike in network traffic from Apple's new iPhone.

Here are some of the details which indicate AT&T is rolling out a major upgrade:

  • In an interview last month, AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega said "we have the infrastructure capability to go to 7.2 [Mbit/s], and we'll have the capability to go 14.4 and 20 in the next couple of years, so I think there's coverage we're going to improve, there's quality we're going to improve, and there's speed that's also going to get improved."
  • As per AppleInsider's sources, "expect [to] see 10 times as much data traffic as they are now experiencing" once new iPhone hardware is released in June.
  • AppleInsider has also got a confirmation that AT&T recently placed an order for a large batch of Juniper routers that can handle higher data throughputs optimized for video capabilities.
  • Apparently as per one of their source, Apple Engineers are already testing a portion of the network upgrade are impressed by the speed.
  • AT&T Engineer's have couple of months to install and test the new equipment so that it is ready when Apple's new iPhone is released.

One of the biggest complaints from AT&T's iPhone users is poor network coverage which resulted in high profile blogger Om Malik chucking his iPhone 3G and opting for T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve.

As per AppleInsider, AT&T is also working to improve its 3G coverage. Ralph de la Vega had said that by the end of 2009: "we'll finish [the 850MHz transition in] San Francisco, we'll finish
parts of New York, and then that'll bring the best technology 3G on the
best backbone to significantly improve the quality and the coverage for
3G on our network."

A faster and improved AT&T network is definitely good news for existing and new iPhone customers. We have already heard the following rumors about Apple's next generation iPhone:

Let's hope this rumor turns out to be true and like AT&T, Apple's other carrier partners are also gearing up for Apple's new iPhone.

How's the 3G coverage in your area? We're curious to find out if it's still an issue, so please feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below.

[via AppleInsider]