AT&T (NYSE: ATT) is planning to upgrade and expand its wireless network coverage in 2008.

The communications provider giant said Wednesday that high-speed coverage would be expanded to some 80 markets this year. Once completed, all top 100 U.S. markets and nearly 350 in all will be covered by so-called 3G, or third generation, multimedia capability.

AT&T’s high-speed network is already available in the following North Carolina markets: Cary, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh and Winston-Salem.

The company is also incorporating high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology, increasing download speeds to between 600 and 1,400 kilobits per second.

"Fast wireless broadband is the foundation for a whole range of new and emerging applications that our customers are adopting, including everything from social networking to sending live video and large business files," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer at AT&T wireless. "With these aggressive initiatives, we’re expanding the scope and the speed of our 3G capabilities, connecting people with their world and enabling more customers to do more with their wireless devices, wherever they may be.”