BALTIMORE, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T*, building on its strong 2010 record of network accomplishments, today announced network improvement plans designed to enable 4G speeds** and enhanced reliability in Baltimore and surrounding communities in 2011. The wireless network enhancement plans are part of AT&T's planned $19-billion nationwide investment in its wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Mayor, said AT&T's significant investment to improve its network will further bolster Baltimore's reputation as a great place to live and work.
Officials from AT&T were joined by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other local leaders for the announcement, which was made at a historic church on Federal Hill where AT&T is deploying innovative technology to enhance coverage in the area.
J. Michael Schweder, president of AT&T Mid-Atlantic, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Baltimore metro area in 2011:
- Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to approximately 400 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and add capacity to support more mobile traffic, like adding traffic lanes to a highway
- Installing approximately nine new cell sites to improve network coverage
- Adding spectrum carriers to around 300 cell sites to support more traffic
- Installing Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks in high-traffic areas and facilities, such as hospital buildings and sporting and event venues, to provide enhanced wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.
- Baltimore Grand Prix preparations include: Deploying a cell on wheels (COW), adding one temporary-to-permanent cell site near the baseball park and a permanent cell site in Federal Hill to support the event, as well as additional spectrum carriers to help increase coverage and capacity for the expected crowds downtown and throughout the greater Baltimore area.
Schweder said AT&T invested more than $325 million in its Baltimore metro wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to provide superior service in the area:
- Installing 37 new cell sites
- Upgrading 135 cell sites for mobile broadband
- Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to 52 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and more capacity
- Adding spectrum carriers to 396 cell sites
"High-tech expansions like this one will help our business community grow, our local economy thrive, and improve our overall quality of life," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "This kind of investment in Baltimore and our region will deliver benefits to the entire community and support jobs. AT&T's investment in Baltimore demonstrates that our city is open for business."
The nation's fastest mobile broadband network is getting faster with 4G. A key planned upgrade for 2011 is deployment of enhanced backhaul connections to approximately 400 cell sites in the Baltimore metro area to enable 4G speeds. Backhaul connections carry traffic between cell sites and AT&T's nationwide network. Enhanced fiber-optic and ethernet backhaul connections expand capacity many times over, and enable additional expansion in the years to come.
"We're investing in our Baltimore network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," Schweder said. "This year, we're committed to providing best-in-class wireless voice service to our customers, and we're backing that up with the right investments."
The investments made in the Baltimore area wireless and wireline networks are part of the nearly $575 million AT&T invested from 2008-2010 across Maryland, Schweder said.
AT&T's advanced network provides several important advantages for customers. Unlike some competitors, AT&T's mobile-broadband network provides customers with the ability to talk and surf at the same time. For instance, you can look up directions to an event while staying on the phone with your boss, or browse your favorite social media sites while chatting with a friend. AT&T's mobile broadband network also is up to 35 percent faster than our largest competitor's CDMA-based network on average nationally.
AT&T also provides access to voice service in more than 220 countries and data service in more than 200 countries. AT&T's largest competitor's CDMA-based devices work in fewer than 45 countries. Business Traveler magazine recently named AT&T as having the "Best Mobile Coverage in the World" – the fourth time AT&T has received the distinction.
"AT&T is consistently among the top companies in the U.S. in terms of our capital investment and we're committed to helping our customers right here in the Baltimore market take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Rob Forsyth, vice president and general manager for AT&T in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia.
AT&T's focus is delivering the nation's most advanced mobile broadband experience, which includes delivering the benefits of mobile broadband networks, devices and applications. With the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T provides accelerated mobile data speeds and simultaneous voice and data capabilities for an amazing wireless voice and data experience. At the same time, AT&T is widening its lead in smartphones and devices, with 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including an industry-leading Android lineup. And we're driving development of wide-ranging mobile applications with three AT&T Foundry collaborative innovation centers planned for this year, as well as leadership in multiple initiatives to provide new tools for apps developers.
AT&T's mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most widely used wireless network platforms in the world.
AT&T also operates the nation's largest Wi-Fi network*** with more than 24,000 hotspots in the U.S. and access to more than 125,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. Most AT&T smartphone customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn't count against customers' monthly data plans.
For more information about AT&T's coverage in Baltimore or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. Using the online tool, AT&T customers can measure coverage quality from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.
*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.
**4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. Available in limited areas. Availability increasing with ongoing backhaul deployment. Requires 4G device. Learn more at att.com/network. Actual speeds experienced will vary and depend on several factors, including device, location, capacity, facilities, and other conditions.
*** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.
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.
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Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might 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 and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.