WASHINGTON, May 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of AT&T1's ongoing efforts to provide an outstanding experience for customers in Washington, DC - including the 24 million annual visitors to the National Mall - the company announced wireless and wired network investments of more than $200 million in the District of Columbia from 2013-2015. These investments drive a wide range of upgrades to reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also enhance critical services that support public safety and first responders.
Citywide, from 2013-2015, the company made more than 230 network upgrades, including adding new cell sites in the rapidly growing NoMa, Shaw and Capital Riverfront neighborhoods. AT&T is also placing additional emphasis on further bolstering network coverage and capacity around the National Mall to support the steady stream of major events taking place there.
By the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, the company will have more than doubled wireless network capacity on the National Mall over the past year. Permanent solutions already in place such as antenna upgrades and cell site modifications will increase both the volume and speed of mobile traffic carried on the network. AT&T has also installed or upgraded more than 20 in-building systems in the area including in museums, government buildings and key hotels and conference centers. These investments will remain in place long after the Inaugural festivities and will benefit residents and visitors for years to come.
AT&T plans a number of temporary upgrades during the Presidential Inauguration to help accommodate significant crowds. These include deploying up to 6 temporary cell sites, known as "Cell on Wheels" or "COWs" along the Mall and parade route. These COWs will feature some of the highest capacity antennas in our fleet –– including the Giant Eyeball Antenna (also known as the Luneburg Lens Antenna).
The 3-D shape of the Giant Eyeball Antenna allows our engineers to distribute data traffic based on the data consumption of the crowd. The shape allows 18 beams of radio frequencies to better cover the crowd, providing the best possible customer experience. In fact, the Giant Eyeball Antenna was deployed for the first time in DC at this year's Cherry Blossom Festival as test run for the Presidential Inauguration and carried more than 2.1 TB of mobile data. That's equal to more than 6 million Cherry Blossom selfies!
"We're committed to providing our customers fast, reliable, highly secure connectivity. We want them to be able to access the Internet at any moment, from almost any device and anywhere," said Denis Dunn, President of AT&T Maryland AT&T. "Our continued investment in DC brings a host of new, innovative opportunities for residents and businesses."
In 2016, for the second year in a row, FORTUNE magazine recognized AT&T as the Most Admired Telecommunications Company in the world. We also placed #48 among the Top 50 World's Most Admired companies. This is our third year in a row on the Top 50 list – AT&T is the only communications company on the list. We ranked #1 in all 9 attributes. This included innovation, financial soundness and quality of products/services. FORTUNE's Most Admired Companies lists are among the most highly respected indicators of corporate performance and reputation.
AT&T has more big plans for 2016. We'll be giving you the ability to access and stream DIRECTV video services over a wired or wireless Internet connection from any provider and from virtually any device – smartphone, tablet, Smart TV, streaming media hardware or PC. We plan for each service to come with a set number of simultaneous sessions. These services will not require annual contracts, satellite dishes or set-top boxes.
We have an extensive Wi-Fi network with more than 40,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers. We provide access to Wi-Fi at more than 1 million Hot Spots around the world. Most AT&T smartphone and home Internet customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost. Wi-Fi usage doesn't count towards customers' monthly wireless data plans.2
Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services. We're the world's largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider.* And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
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*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.
1 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.
2 A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See attwifi.com for details and locations.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.