With the MMS debacle ongoing, iPhone users are desperately looking for reasons to like AT&T. The company has started its 850MHz spectrum upgrade, which should improve signal strength in buildings and overall quality.
iPhone users in some urban areas are already reporting improved 3G reception and performance. AT&T has confirmed upgrades in Atlanta, Las Vegas, San Diego, Fresno and Stockton CA. Atlanta, for example, is in the process of getting 540 new 850 MHz cell sites next to the existing 1900 MHz towers.
Live video iChat on the iPhone may be something we would expect from Apple, but is the timing and technology ripe for this functionality to come out this summer? Some reports are reading into AT&T network upgrades to 7.2 Mbps as a sign that they are bracing for more bandwidth demands from their iPhone subscriber base, and that one of those demands could be live video chat.
The longer AT&T can deliver what Apple needs for its hardware, the longer the company stands to profit from an exclusive arrangement to offer the iPhone on its network. Other leaks and data that point in the direction of a front facing camera on the next generation iPhone have also surfaced.
The AT&T network is about to get faster. Twice as fast as current 3G speeds, using HSPA 7.2 3G wireless technology. This in-progress upgrade to the AT&T network will make speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps possible later this year.
Apple has reportedly designed the next generation iPhone 3.0 to take advantage of these network upgrades when it is released this summer, making the new device twice as fast as current models. LTE technology, otherwise known as 4G, is in the works for future upgrades at AT&T but won't be widely available until 2011.