Wednesday, June 24, 2009
AT&T to Unfurl 3G Access in 850MHz to Enhance Coverage (Phone Scoop)
AT&T provides the so called 3G data services for mobile phones currently only on the 1900mhz frequency. The older 850mhz frequency until now did not support 3G. The advantage of 850 over 1900mhz is that the 850 frequency penetrates buildings better so by adding 3G data to this frequency AT&T is adding a lot of new data capacity to its network.
Especially in big cities with lots of buildings and lots of people the 3G over the 850mhz frequency will be a great addition that will delight especially the iPhone subscribers who are all big users of the data network, especially once they will use the new tethering feature of the iPhone where you can use your iPhone to connect your laptop to the Internet.
But AT&T is not doing this only to please their (new) iPhone customers. They are also gearing up for a data network battle with VERIZON. Now that everyone it seems has a mobile phone the next revenue growth will have to come from the mobile data network. All carriers already sell so called wireless data programs for laptops and netbooks but now that netbooks are really starting to take off the demand for mobile data access will sky rocket. Carriers are even starting to sell subsidized netbooks (basically scaled down laptops with much better battery life) with a 2 year commitment for a data plan.
VERIZON has always been the leader in quality and availability of the network, their mobile voice network was and some places still is the best in the US and the same can be said for their 3G data network. AT&T has a lot of catching up to do, but 3G over 850mhz makes a good start.