AT&T Building Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience in Nashville Market, Announces 2011 Network Upgrade Plans and Wi-Fi Rollout at Bridgestone Arena

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

Mar 29, 2011, 15:30 ET from AT&T Inc.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 29, 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 Nashville 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.

Gregg Morton, AT&T Tennessee state president, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Nashville area in 2011:

  • Deploying upgraded backhaul connections to more than 200 cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these backhaul deployments enable 4G speeds.
  • Upgrading 70 new cell sites for mobile broadband.
  • Installing Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) in high-traffic areas and facilities, including The Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The distributed antenna system provides improved wireless coverage for customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.
  • Delivering additional mobile broadband capacity to 241 cell sites in the area through the addition of new layers of frequency, also known as "carriers." Adding extra capacity to a cell site is like widening a highway - you're creating more lanes to accommodate increasing traffic.
  • Activating 20 new cell sites to improve network coverage and reliability.

"Our story is getting even better for Nashville and surrounding communities," said Gregg Morton, AT&T state president. "Our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA represents a great deal for customers and a major commitment to strengthen and expand our network. In fact, this deal, if approved, means that we'll be able to expand the next generation of mobile broadband – 4G LTE – from our current plan of 80 percent of the U.S. population to 95 percent."

Morton said the T-Mobile acquisition provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending wireless spectrum exhaust situation facing both companies while adding cell towers. Additional towers mean additional capacity which means fewer dropped calls. "We'll be able to provide better voice quality and data performance to our customers," said Morton.

"Today's announcement from AT&T shows yet again that Nashville is a city on the rise, where businesses invest and grow," said Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville. "Investment like this helps continue to grow our economy and create jobs. AT&T has invested heavily in Nashville, both in their mobile network expansion and through their IPTV service, U-verse. These investments help create and keep jobs in the Nashville area, which is good news for our city."

Morton said AT&T invested more than $550 million in its Nashville and surrounding communities wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to superior service in the area:

In 2010, AT&T:

  • Activated eight new cell sites.
  • Added extra mobile broadband capacity to more than 104 cell sites.
  • Upgraded 67 cell sites for mobile broadband.
  • Added 106 additional layers to 104 cell sites to expand network capacity and improve in-building coverage.

"This is great news for the Nashville area," said Beth Harwell, Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. "AT&T's investment of over $550 million in our area alone shows that our state is on the right track for economic development and growth, and most importantly job creation. Nashvillians will benefit from better service and more access to the information they need wherever they are."

The investments made in the Nashville area wireless and wireline networks are part of the nearly $1.2 billion AT&T invested from 2008-2010 across Tennessee, Morton said.

The Bridgestone Arena is home to the Nashville Predators. Additionally, it is designed to accommodate a wide variety of other events including basketball games, concerts, circuses, wrestling, concerts, boxing matches and ice shows.

"This new relationship with Fortune 500 Company AT&T means Bridgestone Arena guests can better communicate using their smart phones on game or event days," said Nashville Predators Chief Executive Officer Jeff Cogen. "This significant network upgrade is especially important to attracting both locals and visitors to Bridgestone Arena, while helping the city of Nashville, the Preds and Arena stay connected."

With this activation, AT&T has enhanced the amount of wireless voice and data traffic that the network is able to handle at large capacity gatherings, where demand on the network is at its peak. To make this enhancement, AT&T installed network equipment on a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to manage available spectrum and increase mobile broadband capacity inside Bridgestone Arena.

"AT&T's investment in Nashville, and in Tennessee overall shows that our state is moving in the right direction when it comes to growth and jobs," said Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey. "By investing in their networks, AT&T is also investing in Tennessee, and we are glad to see the results of these investments through better service and more productivity for all Tennesseans. $1.2 billion is a lot of money, and across Tennessee it has a direct impact on jobs and economic development for our state."

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 more than 255 cell sites in the Nashville 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 Nashville area network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," Morton 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. This type of investment would not be possible without the leadership of elected officials like Speaker Harwell and Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey. Thanks to their leadership in creating an environment that spurs business investment and economic growth, we are able to make announcements like these today."

AT&T's advanced network provides several important advantages for customers. Unlike some competitors' CDMA network, 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 Nashville take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Jim Thorpe, vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets for Tennessee and Kentucky.  

Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said AT&T's plans to significantly invest to improve its network will further bolster Nashville's reputation as a great place to live and work. "High-tech expansions like this one help our business community, our local economy and our overall quality of life," Schulz said.

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 offers a wide-ranging portfolio of smartphones and devices, with 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including a robust 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 135,000 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 Nashville 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.

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