AT&T Building Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience in Detroit, Announces 2011 Network Upgrade Plans

AT&T to Expand Backhaul in 2011 in Detroit to Enable 4G Speeds, Increase Mobile Broadband Capacity, Upgrade Hundreds of Cell Sites

Mar 03, 2011, 12:00 ET from AT&T Inc.

DETROIT, March 3, 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 to Detroit and surrounding communities in 2011. The wireless network enhancement plans are part of AT&T's planned $19-billion investment in its wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.

Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Detroit area in 2011:

  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to 380 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and add capacity to support more mobile traffic, like adding traffic lanes to a highway
  • Installing nearly 50 new cell sites to improve network coverage and upgrading 15 additional sites to enable mobile broadband
  • Adding spectrum carriers to more than 300 cell sites to support more traffic

Murray said AT&T invested more than $150 million in its metro Detroit wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to superior service in the area:

  • Installing 15 new cell sites
  • Upgrading more than 120 cell sites for mobile broadband
  • Deploying HSPA+ to more than 560 cell sites to enable 4G speeds when combined with enhanced backhaul
  • Adding spectrum carriers to more than 275 cell sites
  • Deploying a DAS network at Joe Louis Arena

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 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 Detroit network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Brian Ducharme, vice president and general manager for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in Michigan. "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 Detroit area were part of the $1.7 billion AT&T invested from 2008-2010 in its wireless and wireline networks across Michigan, Murray said.

N. Charles Anderson, President and CEO of the Detroit Urban League, said AT&T's significant investment to improve its network will bolster Detroit's reputation as a great place to live and work.

"The Detroit Urban League is committed to education but even the best training can be wasted if there isn't a job waiting on the other side of graduation," said Anderson. "This is why we believe investments in and around Detroit like what's being announced by AT&T today are so significant. Investments attract jobs for those who have made the decision to stay, live and work here, and we are pleased to see AT&T leading the way for economic empowerment in our community."

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 Detroit take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Murray.  

Charles A. DeVries, Senior Director of Business Development at Automation Alley said AT&T's commitment to its mobile broadband network will benefit job makers across the region.

"Businesses looking to move or expand in the metro Detroit region are looking for a strong, fast, reliable wireless network," said DeVries. "AT&T's planned investment means job makers in Detroit and across the region will be able to quickly and reliably connect with one another and the rest of the world and that creates an environment where job makers from around the globe can come and succeed."

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 Detroit 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 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 for details and locations.

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 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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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.