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Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 07:35 pm PT (10:35 pm ET)

AT&T upgrades network as wireless traffic quadruples over past year

AT&T has invested nearly $65 million into 3G network upgrades in the San Francisco Bay area in response to massive growth in total data traffic over the past year.

AT&T has announced this deployment is "one part of its ongoing initiatives to enhance the speed and performance of its network." AT&T also recently announced plans to upgrade its 3G nationwide network with HSPA 7.2 technology which promises faster mobile broadband speed. These upgrades are expected to be completed in 2011. A total of 1,900 cell sites are to be added by the end of this year.

The San Francisco Area in particular has seen a massive increase in 3G traffic. AT&T estimates the growth in data traffic to be close to 2000 percent since 2008. Overall United States network traffic has quadrupled in the past year.

AT&T attributes this tremendous growth in traffic to "more and more people upgrading to smartphones and integrated devices with full QWERTY keyboards."

This announcement comes on the heels of AT&T's highly publicized court battle over Verizon's depiction of AT&T's 3G network in its most recent series of commercials. AT&T claims that the coverage maps that Verizon displays in said ads mislead consumers into thinking that areas devoid of AT&T 3G coverage offer no coverage at all.

Monday, Verizon responded to the suit, saying "AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smarthphone users has suffered accordingly."