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AT&T: 20Mbps Wireless By 2009
WiMax? What WiMax?
by Karl Bode 05:01PM Wednesday May 14 2008 Tipped by Dogfather See Profile
Whether it's the looming launch of the 3G iPhone or the attention being given to Sprint's WiMax spinoff (I'm guessing the latter), AT&T is being pretty chatty about their 3G plans this week. According to the telco, they'll be offering 20Mbps speeds over their network by 2009. AT&T wireless boss Ralph de la Vega says they've already got 7.2Mbps working in the labs, and will deploy 20Mbps HSPA release 7 sometime in 2009. LTE then arrives in 2010:
quote:
AT&T plans to transition to HSPA release 7 sometime in 2009, which will deliver even bigger speeds "exceeding 20 megabits per second," according to the executive. He said the upgrade will require few if any hardware modifications to the company's infrastructure and will instead be a smooth transition achieved largely through a software upgrade to its electronics. De la Vega also said that his firm has "a clear and logical path" to 700MHz 4G access via the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard in the 2010 timeframe which should again increase speeds fivefold to nearly 100 megabits per second.
Ah, it feels like only yesterday I couldn't even get a decent voice signal with my AT&T Motorola StarTAC while standing on the southern tip of Manhattan. AT&T this week has also been repeating their claims that their network is already "open," something not everybody agrees with.

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Then they need to upgrade links from cell towers to backbone

If they claim these high speeds from the phone to the cell tower, then they better have a very aggressive upgrade of the links from the cell tower to the backbones. In downtown areas that may not be a problem, but as you get in to suburban and rural areas, most cell towers only handle T1 speeds to the backbone. Having 20 mbps from phone to tower means nothing if the rest of the infrastructure is not also upgraded.
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My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

Re: Then they need to upgrade links from cell towers to backbone

By 2009 the majority of towers will be OFF of copper T1's. Using a Charles Industries Wescom repeater, the same one used for copper T1 extensions, they're placing a Pulsecom card that takes four (of 28) slots. It condenses those spans into a single fiber. This fiber is then shot to the towers.

This is done for two reasons: higher speeds and reliability. After the tower is cut to FTTCS its rare that a tech is dispatched out there again.

I'm not saying this is going to enable the site to have 50+ 20MB customers, but it's where they're starting.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Then they need to upgrade links from cell towers to backbone

In Uverse cities, this shouldn't be an issue... there's fiber to nodes all over the place. A short run between a Uverse node and a cell site wouldn't be difficult.
--
Canada = Hollywood North
skrupowies

join:2002-08-22
Bristol, CT
said by weaseled386:

By 2009 the majority of towers will be OFF of copper T1's. Using a Charles Industries Wescom repeater, the same one used for copper T1 extensions, they're placing a Pulsecom card that takes four (of 28) slots. It condenses those spans into a single fiber. This fiber is then shot to the towers.


All that does is make the last mile on fiber but still has only 4 T-1's (6 Mb/s) feeding it. Here in Connecticut and other locations as far as I know, we are placing fiber to either Nortel or Fujitsu equipment right at the cell site that can provide DS3's, Ethernet or OC3's which will truly support 20 Mb/s wireless. So many of the sites will be capable of these speeds all the way to the web, not just the tower.

Uncle Paul

join:2003-02-04
USA
kudos:1

Forget Copper

Isn't that about the speed of U-Verse?

ztmike
Mark for moderation
Premium
join:2001-08-02
Michigan City, IN

1 edit

Re: Forget Copper

said by Uncle Paul:

Isn't that about the speed of U-Verse?
Not even close..U-Verse tops out at 10/1.5 ..kinda sad..isn't it?
--
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdYueIC1pjM

weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1

Re: Forget Copper

Do you think that just because that's the limit they have it at now that it's the limit of the physical equipment? Hopefully not.

ztmike
Mark for moderation
Premium
join:2001-08-02
Michigan City, IN

Re: Forget Copper

said by weaseled386:

Do you think that just because that's the limit they have it at now that it's the limit of the physical equipment? Hopefully not.
Not what I meant, but to have those kind of speeds..even Comcast beats that.
--
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdYueIC1pjM

weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·AT&T U-Verse

Re: Forget Copper

I install AT&T equipment for a living, and I don't even have their service They haven't flipped the switch on U-Verse here yet, but even when the do I don't plan on jumping from Brighthouse/RR. As you said, 10/1.5 vs. 15/2... not much of a choice is there?!

The bonding of the two pairs for 25MB isn't a myth tho. The only question is how fast RR is going to go to match/beat it!
skrupowies

join:2002-08-22
Bristol, CT

Re: Forget Copper

said by weaseled386:

I install AT&T equipment for a living, and I don't even have their service They haven't flipped the switch on U-Verse here yet, but even when the do I don't plan on jumping from Brighthouse/RR.

That's great. You work for the company and support their major competitors for wireless, video and internet. That's certainly one way to support your company and, more importantly, your job!

weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: Forget Copper

As a contractor who lives hand-to-mouth you have to go where the deals are. For me the deals are AT&T for wireless, and Brighthouse for internet & cable. Might that change once U-Verse is fully deployed here? Maybe.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

said by skrupowies:

That's great. You work for the company and support their major competitors for wireless, video and internet. That's certainly one way to support your company and, more importantly, your job!
Can you blame him? At&t needs to offer a better solution to win customers.
Expecting him to be loyal to at&t because they contract jobs to him is like expecting at&t to be loyal to him when he needs work.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
said by weaseled386:

Do you think that just because that's the limit they have it at now that it's the limit of the physical equipment? Hopefully not.
The limits of the VDSL deployment they are doing at typical loop lengths is somewhere around 25Mbps... However they won't let you "Just" order U-Verse Internet. Most of the 25mbps speed is reserved for the video streams and their VOIP. The most they will give you on Internet will be about 10/1. Unless they go ahead and change U-Verse to FTTH or install many more Remote terminals and shorten the loop length. They have gotten U-Verse up to about 100mbps but only on very short distances.

The HOPE that many of us have is that U-verse will be rolled out and over time at&t will go back and upgrade to full FTTH and then make more services and speeds available.

... but it could be awhile.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

sheik28
Premium
join:2000-10-15
New York, NY

Startac??!!

What you said is very true. Bringing back memories too! Remember the havoc when they released the One Rate plan? Thankfully those days are long gone.
--
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EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA

That's great...

But how many people can really get HSDPA? I mean, I live in a fairly developed close-in suburb, and it's not available here at all yet.

Though I don't use cellular data really- WiFi is usually available where I'd use it. (Though today the MBTA Commuter Rail Wi-Fi failed me, which was too bad, but failing to provide is to be expected from the MBTA)

iLive4Fusion
Premium
join:2006-07-13

Re: That's great...

said by EPS4:

But how many people can really get HSDPA? I mean, I live in a fairly developed close-in suburb, and it's not available here at all yet.

Though I don't use cellular data really- WiFi is usually available where I'd use it. (Though today the MBTA Commuter Rail Wi-Fi failed me, which was too bad, but failing to provide is to be expected from the MBTA)
We have had 3G here in Central Alabama since 2006, and HSPDA since 07" before places like LA even had 3G

chd176

join:2003-01-10
Winfield, AL

1 edit

Re: That's great...

3G may be in the B-Ham area but places like Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas are SOL. ATT needs to start upgrading towers to support 3G before they go bandwidth crazy. I would think a very small ATT customer base can actually get 3G service.

iLive4Fusion
Premium
join:2006-07-13

Re: That's great...

said by chd176:

3G may be in the B-Ham area but places like Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas are SOL. ATT needs to start upgrading towers to support 3G before they go bandwidth crazy. I would think a very small ATT customer base can actually get 3G service.
Yep. 3G is good at my house in hoover and such. But once I drive out to my house in Oak Grove (West Jefferson County) I lose all 3G service. It seems like AT&T with 71.5 Million customers would have more 3G coverage than Sprint/.

tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5

In this business

In this business you can make whatever wild claims you want, even if they will never come true.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

a joke

20 mbps?

What a joke. Rule 1, ATT will never release a wireless product that will marginalize its wired DSL.

20mbps per tower perhaps, per customer, no way.

Doesnt ATT Wireless have caps on its wireless internet anyway?

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY

Re: a joke

my thoughts precisely.
Two things to carefully consider:
a) Does this come with the magic 5 gig cap?
b) What kind of backhaul is this using? Like patcat points out, it sure as hell won't reach 20 Megs/customer unless the backhaul is at LEAST a T3/OC fiber. Even then, you'll reach the full/close to full speed probably only when you're online at midnight.
Finally, I can't imagine how much the actual tethering options cost, as 20 Megs to the PHONE is utterly worthless, unless you have a reasonably-priced tethering plan.
AT&T should, IMHO, concentrate on pushing Rev1 HSDPA to more areas already. Even with such superior 3g phones as the I-Phone, their 3G coverage is n epic failure.

HEDP

join:2008-04-27
Miami, FL

1 edit
God forbid they offer something lower, someone might get shot up in this joint. Can't ever be satisfied huh?

a333
A hot cup of integrals please

join:2007-06-12
Rego Park, NY

Re: a joke

well, I think I'm raising perfectly genuine questions here. If half of AT&T's network is EDGE, with 3g spotty at best, how can we expect 20 Meg speeds for a reasonable price in the near future. At least first get HSDPA and Re-Verse in order, then you can worry about 20 Meg speeds. And no, I have absolutely no interest in 20M speeds to my PHONE, no thanks. And a 5-gig, heck, even a 10-gig cap is laughable for a 20-meg connection. It was OK on EDGE, as few could possibly spend that long on EDGE. But 3g? HELL no!!!
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA

Re: a joke

Isn't AT&T's cap more of a technicality that isn't really enforced? Or am I confusing them with someone else?

HEDP

join:2008-04-27
Miami, FL
You think your 49.95 monthly bill is going to cover about 5K worth of gear not including recurring monthly costs just so they can put HSDPA and fiber to the tower?

Let's not forget that the guy who needs to install it is charging a good hundred by the hour for insurance purposes in case he falls installing the bastard up there.

All I read on this forum is gimme gimme gimme, without realizing it takes time and money to upgrade these networks to handle the capacity to increase the speeds in the last mile.

Also fiber is not the only solution there is to providing broadband for a tower, there are other means which can be just if not better than current installation by microwave, DSL, cable, and other types of backhaul solutions which affect latency, network speed and overall performance per users on each tower.

AT&T is massive and has the capacity to do the following but with the current market conditions deploying new technologies is a risk if the price to deploy and the amount of return is insufficient which could jeopardize the companies performance in other markets and services.

The reason why I believe WiMAX is the ticket is not just because of the speed but the price of the hardware. There have already been reports and information that the radios for WiMAX for the consumer base are a mere 50 dollars at max and could be installed in a wide variety of applications.

Caps will be better off in the current market conditions as tiers can be set for specific amount of data usage and types of deployments. For home based installations which are fixed pipes can be unlimited but offer 4-6mbps while tier services provide 10-20mbps speeds with only a consumption of 20-40GB per month for standard users opening the available consumer market at a lower or per GB.

Also this is simply radio technology and these networks have surpassed their current actual needs. It's no longer about voice but data, and if companies can recreate the last mile, they will do it with wireless because it eliminates a whole different amount of cost and problems. This is not about getting 20Mbps to your phone, this is about creating a wireless internet that is capable to deliver on the go and wherever you go at a price that is currently set in the market.

Don't expect it to be cheap or reasonably priced though because such a thing does not exist in this world especially with a devalued dollar.

JohnQPublic6
Premium
join:2002-03-22
Xanadu

1 edit

Yeah, whatever.

I can't get DSL Xtreme 6.0 at my residence, yet they're going to offer 20Mbps to a cell phone? Makes perfect sense.

FWIW, I live in the middle of Palm Beach County, so it's not like I'm living out in the bushes. I've had DSL since 1999, too.


en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Yeah, whatever.

AT&T doesn't offer me beyond 'express' here, and I'm in Los Angeles County.
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xxTRAGEDYxx

join:2008-03-14
Kannapolis, NC

20Mbps???

How is at&t going to offer 20Mbps service w/cell phones and their residential service(excluding u-verse) doesn't even reach 10Mbps???? It looks as though at&t really has their priorities in order!!! WTFE!!

SrsBsns

join:2001-08-30
Oklahoma City, OK

Two words

Pipe dreams
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Two words

Is that 20mbps per channel? Per tower?
Will they still have a 5gb cap?

ig0r

@sbcglobal.net

hr0k

I think if AT&T says they can do it they probably can. They have quite a bit of capital to invest in this kind of thing, and how much did they just pay for the extra spectrum? May as well put it to use.
gworkman7

join:2005-10-18
Laveen, AZ

Better Hardware Support Needed

Even if they do get to 20, today's pocket pc's aren't able to do anything with them. The Tilt and 8525 are both horribly underpowered to do much more than receive e-mail and make calls.
decifal

join:2007-03-10
Bon Aqua, TN
kudos:1

tower in site

lol, 20Mbps by 2009... I'll believe it when I see it.. Why? I cant' get cable nor dsl (( no clue why, its populated here, but no buildout yet )) And, I have LOS to an ATT tower... I"d rock with their wireless and if theres no ridiculous caps on it, i'd switch in a heart beat from sprint... That being said... Give me a landline connection, and i'll pay double for that as opposed to the trouble of wireless

drdonutman

@bellsouth.net

20mbps?

lol, most cable/dsl connections aren't even that fast.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

HA!

at&t you can't even provide any more than 1xRTT with maybe 100 Kbps in my area so please don't spout of about pie in the sky crap.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL

Show me the backbone

Let's see...

In order to get HSDPA 3.6 service on a tower (and it actually be any faster than 1.8, or UMTS for that matter if people are gonna use it any) AT&T has to put multiple T1's to the tower.

For HSDPA 7.2 they have to get...hmm...four or five T1's and that's cutting it close.

Sure they could, as stated above, conect their cell sites to the U-Verse backhaul, but guess what? They have wireless networks in Qwest and Verizon territory, where there's no U-Verse to backhaul to. Plus, the minute you get out of DSL range you're back to using T-1's, T-3's, OC-3's, Ethernet or microwave, no matter where you are.

At twenty megabits on the user side (does anyone know what they claim for the current HSDPA 3.6? Just asking because it's slower than EvDO as far as I've seen) they'd need some decent fiber runs or maybe a T3 to the towers. or microwave. They can't just flip a switch to turn on extra backhaul. LTE deployments will require OC3's to whatever towers they're on.

The point is that the higher they jack up speeds, the more pathetic coverage will be. From what I've seen so far their 3G service is limited to large urban areas, while EvDO, since it has a lower speed expectation (and thus, though begrudgingly by consumers, can be run on a single-T1 site) is much closer to "everywehre". Sprint can compare EvDO to AT&T's EDGE because, guess what, they have about the same coverage footprint, when you take roaming into account on the carriers.

I'm not even worried about the fact that their 2009 offerings are significantly bigger than what they're giving you on DSL right now...they'll bond if they have to in order to get those speeds up. But I seriously doubt that their 20 Mbit wireless footprint will reach beyond DSL-covered areas. I even doubt that it'll be 20 Mbits except under near-ideal conditions (five bars of signal). Especially since, at least when looking at Wikipedia, the maximum spec for HSDPA downloads is 14.4 Mbit. Also, what are uploads gonna be? 384k? Geesh...

AT&T should definitely finish rolling out "bleeding EDGE" everywhere first, then overlay with HSDPA 3.6, then start the arms race against higher-speed competition, if there is any at that point. Betcha they'll have LTE out before I see AT&T 3G here (former Dobson CellOne market) though I can get EvDO Rev. A from two carriers. One of them caps usage, so I don't use them. Read: if AT&T caps usage on their 20 Mbit network to 5 GB per month, that's not enough for me, and T1-powered EvDO wherever I am with no cap is enough.
w4ncr

join:2000-10-27

Re: Show me the backbone

Looks like to me AT&T is kicking away from their copper.
Going all wireless.
At least for higher speed packages.

factchecker

@cox.net

*rofl*

I'll believe it when I see it (in more than a couple square miles in one metro area)... I'd be more inclined to believe them if I didn't have years of experience hearing promises from them that never came to fruition...

Its wireless

@demon.co.uk

20Mbps - per sector or base station??

20Mbps - at 3bps/Hz, means 6.6MHz of spectrum at current encoding. I do not see AT&T having 6.6Mhz of spectrum per cell user, they may just have that much per sector.

With LTE, they are quoting 100Mbps in the lab. At 5bps/Mhz that means a 20MHz channel. That channel maps 1:1 to a sector, i.e. a single radio.

So 20Mbps total for a sector with NO other users! Add a dozen voice calls, and you'll be down to 1Mbps.
flyingjoey

join:2005-11-07
Jersey City, NJ

sooo!

so in which planet will this be done? not on Earth... and I am sure as hell that not by Communist T&T.

umm

@ameritech.net

Has anyone been watching how much at&t has been spending...

I go to google news everyday and generally check out what the companies I spend money on are doing. AT&T has been in their a lot, a whole hell of a lot, all for wireless towers and building up of their network. I am guessing that AT&T is going to move on from the wires to the wireless. That is the segment of their business that is making the money for AT&T, so why do more when they might be able to do more without dropping more fiber and all that? I am not up to the tech skills that you guys sound like you are, but I read enough to see that AT&T's wireless side is going beyond aggressive. They might complain about the wire line stuff, but my best guess is that they new this day was coming. My buddy has the sim card in his dell and when these speeds go into effect, well, my guess he will be happier than I and my Comcast...u