AT&T; speeds up wireless uploading

From Reuters

AT&T; Inc. plans to announce soon that it has upgraded its mobile network to let customers send photos or video from their cellphones to the Internet up to six times faster than before, a top mobile executive said Monday.

Richard Burns, president of AT&T;'s wireless services, also said the company expected to carry out most of its 2007 high-speed wireless upgrades in October and November.

AT&T; is boosting its network upload speeds to help meet growing bandwidth demand as customers increasingly send or upload media files directly from their phones to personal blogs and sites such as and


“The ability to upload is becoming more important,” Burns said.

Though most mobile Web surfers only wanted to download or retrieve information from the Web a few years ago, the entry of social networks and blogging into the mainstream has made upload speeds more important.

“Everybody in the street is becoming a reporter so the desire to be able to upload is growing,” he said. “That’s become a much bigger part of consumer demand than it was just a few years ago.”

Burns said the upgrade to AT&T;'s high-speed network would increase upload speeds to a range of 500 to 800 kilobits per second from its current speed of about 120 kbps.

He did not say how much the upgrade would cost AT&T.;

AT&T; and rivals have been developing mobile data services such as Web surfing in an effort to keep growing amid declines in both phone-call prices and the number of people who do not already own cellphones.

But AT&T;'s upgrade so far is behind that of smaller rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp.