AT&T Building Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience in Phoenix; Announces 2011 Network Upgrade Plans

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

Mar 30, 2011, 09:00 ET from AT&T Inc.

PHOENIX, March 30, 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 Phoenix 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.

Jerry Fuentes, president of AT&T Arizona, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Phoenix area in 2011:

  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to approximately 300 of the area's cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these backhaul deployments enable 4G speeds.
  • Delivering additional wireless capacity to roughly 160 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.
  • Installing roughly more than 130 new cell sites and approximately 100 new antennas, which act as small cell sites, to improve network coverage.
  • Deploying and upgrading Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks at more than six venues in high-traffic areas to enhance network coverage during events to provide enhanced wireless coverage to customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.  

"Our story is getting even better for Phoenix and Arizona," Fuentes said. "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."

"The T-Mobile acquisition provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending wireless 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," Fuentes continued.

Fuentes said AT&T invested nearly $175 million in its Phoenix wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to superior service in the area. This year's plans build upon the improvements AT&T completed in 2010 to strengthen its Phoenix area mobile broadband network, including:

  • Installing more than 250 new cell sites or antenna locations, including in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale
  • Upgrading various cell sites for mobile broadband
  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to key cell sites to enable 4G speeds and more capacity
  • Adding spectrum carriers to more than 360 cell sites
  • Deploying DAS networks at nine venues, including Phoenix Children's Hospital, Arizona State University's Wells Fargo Arena, and Arizona State University's Carson Center

The investments made in the Phoenix area wireless and wireline networks are part of the nearly $425 million AT&T invested from 2008-2010 across Arizona, Fuentes said.

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 300 cell sites throughout Phoenix 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 Phoenix network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Chris Percy, vice president and general manager for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in Arizona. "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."

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 Phoenix take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Fuentes.  

Don Cardon, director, Arizona Department of Commerce, said AT&T's significant investment to improve its network will further bolster Phoenix'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," Cardon said. "Few businesses today are more competitive than the wireless industry. That level of competition results in investment and new technology, which delivers benefits to the entire community."

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 Phoenix 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.

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, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, 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. 

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.  This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

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.



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