Atlanta AT&T Customers Get Boost in Coverage With Second Layer of Capacity

AT&T Adds Substantial Capacity to its 3G Network in Atlanta and Launches 3G in 10 GA Cities in 2009

Jan 14, 2010, 09:00 ET from AT&T Inc.

ATLANTA, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Surfing the Internet, keeping up with social networking apps, streaming video -- these are just a few of the things you can do on an AT&T* wireless device today. It's also the reason AT&T has substantially increased capacity on nearly 90 cell sites across the metro Atlanta area. The project involved the addition of a second layer of capacity, or "second carrier," to the AT&T 3G network.  

The additional capacity is targeted to support higher volumes of mobile broadband traffic and provide more consistent speeds during peak system usage. In August of last year, AT&T also completed an overlay of additional wireless spectrum in the 850 MHz band across more than 540 cell sites in and around Atlanta providing improved in-building wireless coverage and overall network capacity. In 2009, AT&T launched its 3G mobile broadband network in 10 cities in the state including: Milledgeville, Toccoa, Hartwell, Macon, Warner Robins, Perry, Fort Valley, Statesboro, Valdosta and Augusta. These new 3G markets added more than 2,000 square miles of new 3G coverage across Georgia.

"Our goal is pretty simple: we want you to have an extraordinary experience when you make a call, check e-mail, download a song or video, or surf the Internet on your AT&T device," said Keith Holmes, vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in Georgia. "The additional capacity helps to enhance the 3G network and is another way AT&T is driving to deliver a first-class wireless voice and data experience for our customers."

These network enhancements are part of AT&T's ongoing efforts to drive innovation by investing to deliver the benefits of smartphones and mobile broadband for customers.  More smartphone customers have chosen AT&T over any U.S. competitor, resulting in wireless traffic on the AT&T network that has quadrupled over the past year.  This growth includes a volume of smartphone data traffic over the AT&T network that is unmatched in the wireless industry. Wireless data traffic on the AT&T network has grown nearly 7,000 percent over the last 13 quarters.

In 2008 and through Q3 of 2009, AT&T invested approximately $19 billion toward wireless, with the focus on expanding and enhancing its network capabilities, including network investments, spectrum purchases and acquisitions. Between 2006 and 2008, AT&T invested nearly $3.25 billion in its wireless and wireline networks in Georgia.

"Our mission is to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and to do it better than anyone else," said Sylvia E. Russell, AT&T president, Georgia.  "We view our ongoing investment in Georgia as an investment in our customers."

Greater North Fulton Chamber COO and VP of Economic Development, Tedra Cheatham, stated, "A robust network for technology is critical to attracting and retaining jobs and investment in Atlanta. Today's announcement by AT&T is a good step in that direction."

AT&T recently completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide that prepares the nation's fastest 3G network for even faster speeds. The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T's network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with the best possible mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future.  Faster 3G speeds are scheduled to become available in 2010 and 2011 on a market by market basis as AT&T combines the new technology with our second initiative to dramatically increase the number of high-speed backhaul connections to cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic connections, adding capacity from cell sites to the AT&T backbone network.

AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T's 3G network is available in more than 350 major metropolitan areas. AT&T also offers 3G data roaming in more than 115 countries, as well as voice calling in 220 countries.

*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.

About AT&T

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 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T 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(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) 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's Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies.

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