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Friday, May 23, 2008, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Telecom exec says 3G iPhone to support 42Mbps HSPA

A senior executive for Australia's Telstra wireless carrier has allegedly told the region's ChannelNews that Apple's upcoming iPhone revision will be capable of supporting an advanced 3G connection at speeds of 42 megabits per second.

"We know what is coming, we have seen the new device and it will be available on our network as soon as it is launched in the USA," the unidentified executive is reported to have said. "By Xmas this phone will be capable of 42mbs which will make it faster than a lot of broadband offerings and the fastest iPhone on any network in the world."

The report goes on to say that Telstra already has 3G iPhones on hand for testing and that the device will be made available to the carrier's customers "very soon after its June 9 unveiling" by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

If true, the claim by the unnamed Telstra exec would suggest that Apple is building a wireless broadband chip into its next-gen iPhone that supports an advanced High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) protocol known as Evolved HSPA. In addition to downloads of up to 42 Mbps, Evolved HSPA networks also supports uploads at up to 22 Mbps.

Stateside, AT&T is putting the finishing touches on its own standard HSPA network that currently offers download speeds of 1.4 Mbps and upload rates around 800 Kbps. However, the US carrier promises to follow through on a plan that will boost download speeds to 7.2Mbps in the next year, eventually hitting 20Mbps sometime in 2009.