NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In just the first six months of this year, AT&T* invested nearly $200 million in its wireless and wireline networks to continue improving service for customers in Tennessee. Upgrades to the AT&T wireless network included new cell sites, expanded mobile broadband coverage and increased 3G capacity. The investment also included upgrades to the AT&T wireline infrastructure, such as expanded AT&T U-verse® services, additional AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, and extended reach of broadband services.
AT&T customers are seeing the results of this investment with faster mobile broadband speeds and strong reliability, according to the latest round of comprehensive drive testing by Global Wireless Solutions Inc. (GWS). This GWS testing showed that AT&T maintained the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, connected more than 98 percent of calls on the first attempt, and carried 98.65 percent of calls to completion, a difference of less than one call out of 1,000 from the only higher-scoring provider.
AT&T State President Gregg Morton said AT&T's local investment creates many advantages for the people of Tennessee.
"Over the last three years, AT&T has invested more than $1 billion in Tennessee in our wireless and wireline networks," said Morton. "Our investment in Tennessee stimulates the economy and fosters employment and we are proud of that. By adding new cell sites and upgrading 3G services throughout the state, our investment of nearly $200 million in the first half of this year is a great start to continuing our strong commitment to the state of Tennessee."
"We are pleased to see that companies like AT&T are investing so much in Tennessee," said Rep. Mike Turner. "When businesses invest in Tennessee, it leads to jobs and economic development for the entire state. Tennessee is a place that is open for business, and that is evident by today's announcement."
"When companies invest and grow, so does our state, and I am glad to see that so much investment is happening right here in Tennessee," said Rep. Gerald McCormick. "The economic impact of this type of business investment will help improve the lives of Tennesseans all across our state."
Jim Thorpe, AT&T's vice president and general manager in Tennessee, said that AT&T remains focused on making the nation's fastest mobile broadband network even faster.
"With AT&T mobile broadband speeds, customers can talk on their phones, surf the Web, download files faster, and enjoy the very latest interactive mobile applications all at the same time. Our investment strategy allows us to continue increasing speeds, which means our capabilities continue to grow with our customers."
Average national mobile broadband network speeds during the first six months of 2010 are up more than 25 percent, based on internal data.
These faster speeds have been delivered even as AT&T has managed unprecedented growth in mobile data usage. Over a three-year period (2007-2009), mobile data traffic on AT&T's wireless network jumped about 5,000 percent.
"Putting that in perspective," said Thorpe. "Imagine if traffic on Interstate 65 increased 5,000 percent? It would be an impossible situation, worse than the 60-mile traffic jam recently in China. But we have not only met that unprecedented growth, our network serves customers better and faster than before. No other company in the country has faced that kind of growth. There's no way to tell how their networks would have fared. But we've been tested by fire -- like none other -- and because of that, our customers are benefiting."
The network investment complements the introduction of new wireless data plans that make the benefits of mobile broadband more affordable for more people. Customers can choose the data plan that best fits their needs, starting with the DataPlus plan at $15 per month.
"Thanks to the work of leaders in the legislature like Rep. McCormick, our state has some of the best pro-business policies in the nation," said Tom Edd Wilson, president and CEO, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. "With this type of environment, it is no wonder that AT&T is able to invest so much money into their business here."
For more information about AT&T's mobile broadband coverage in Tennessee or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer. Using the online tool, AT&T customers can measure coverage quality of coverage from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark. A map of AT&T Wi-Fi locations is available at www.att.com/go.
For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit www.att.com/networknews.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
DataPlus plan requires a wireless agreement and includes 200MB of data; each additional 200MB of overage is $15 and other restrictions apply.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates -- AT&T operating companies -- are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.