AT&T, quite deservedly, has gotten slammed by owners of the previous versions of Apple's iPhone for poor reception and broken connections on AT&T's 3G wireless network. However, the new iPhone 4S, due for release on October 14, should see a speed increase that in theory cannot be match by the Verizon and Sprint owners of the same phone. As Venture Beat reports, the AT&T version of the iPhone 4S will connect to its 14.4 HSDPA network.
This version is somewhat faster than AT&T's normal 3G network and has 14.4 Mbps download speeds and 5.8 Mbps in upload speeds. An AT&T spokesperson said that the company expects the 14.4 HSDPA speeds to be made available in two-thirds of its network by the end of 2011. By contrast, the iPhone 4S that Verizon and Sprint will get will only connect to their normal 3G network with between 600 kbps and 1.4 Mbps download speeds and between 500 and 800 Kbps for upload speeds. However, wireless customers still rank AT&T as the least reliable wireless network. Plus Sprint will give its iPhone 4S customers an unlimited data plan, something that Verizon and AT&T no longer offer.
Verizon has been expanding its own faster network, based on the LTE standard, for the past year. It currently offers those speeds over half of its 3G network and should cover all of it by the end of 2013. AT&T has just started launching its own LTE network in a few cities and Sprint is expected to launch its own LTE network in 2012. It's likely that the next version of the iPhone will add support for these faster networks.