AT&T Mobility has announced details of its plans to expand its High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2Mbps network. The cellco plans to deploy the upgrade in six major U.S. cities, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami, with initial service expected in these markets by the end of 2009. The company plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the nation’s 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to reach about 90% of its existing 3G network footprint with HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2011. The upgraded network platform allows peak download speeds of 7.2Mbps. John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Operations, said: ‘With HSPA 7.2, we’re making the nation’s fastest 3G network even faster, and we’ll be able to deploy this technology before long term evolution (LTE) networks, devices and equipment grow to scale. Even as we look forward to LTE, we know that 3G will be the predominant mobile broadband network technology worldwide for smartphones for the next few years. AT&T’s strategy will deliver faster 3G speeds, while also allowing us to build the foundation for the 4G future.’ The company is also aiming to add 2,000 cell sites to its national network by the end of 2009, whilst preparing to conduct LTE field trials in 2010, with 4G deployments scheduled for 2011.