Steve Jobs confirmed last September that the second generation iPhone, with 3G, is on its way while rumours had it pinned down for release by the end of 2007.

It didn't arrive but an announcement by AT&T, which has the exclusive contract for the iPhone in the US (like O2 in the UK), would suggest we're not going to be waiting much longer.

Jobs pointed to battery problems as to why the 3G device wasn't already available but now AT&T has announced that it is to massively expand its 3G network across the US, which would seem to imply that Apple has resolved its technical hitches.

According to the AppleInsider, AT&T is to deploy 3G wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities in the United States through the course of the year.

By the end of the year, 3G services will be delivered to nearly 350 leading US markets, AT&T said in a statement, including all of the top 100 US cities.

The 3G initiative will also include the roll-out of more than 1500 additional cell towers nationwide.

"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", said AT&T Wireless chief executive Ralph de la Vega.

"We're also planning for the future by establishing a clear path to a 4G network that will meet the needs of our customers for years to come."

AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson said in November that customers would "have it [the 3G iPhone] next year".