ST. PAUL, Minn., April 4, 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 the Twin Cities and surrounding communities in 2011. The wireless network enhancement plans are part of AT&T's planned $19-billion investment in its U.S. wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.
Bob Bass, president of AT&T Minnesota, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Twin Cities area in 2011:
- Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to more than 300 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and add capacity to support more mobile traffic, like adding traffic lanes to a highway
- Installing more than 10 new cell sites to improve network coverage
- Adding spectrum carriers to 45 cell sites to support more traffic
- Deploying and upgrading Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks at high-traffic venues, such as sports facilities and airports to enhance network coverage
"Our story is getting even better for the Twin Cities and Minnesota," Bass 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."
Bass said 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," he added.
Bass said AT&T invested more than $190 million in its Twin Cities wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to superior service in the area:
- Installed more than 80 new cell sites
- Upgraded more than 60 cell sites for mobile broadband to infill areas in the Twin Cities, including the Highland Park and Macalaster-Groveland neighborhoods in St. Paul
- Added spectrum carriers to more than 300 cell sites
- Deployed DAS networks at major venues, including Xcel Center, Target Center, and other locations
The investments made in the Twin Cities area wireless and wireline networks are part of the more than $280 million AT&T invested from 2008 through 2010 across Minnesota.
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 300 cell sites in and around the Twin Cities 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 Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Hardmon Williams, vice president and general manager for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in Minnesota. "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-only 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 Minnesota take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," Bass said.
"The fan experience today has evolved as technology has enabled a wide range of new and interesting capabilities that go beyond the traditional amenities such as concessions, sightlines and entertainment," said Bill Robertson, vice president of communications and broadcasting for the Minnesota Wild and the Xcel Energy Center. "Fans now expect to be able to use their mobile devices during games to access team websites, stats, apps, video, blogs and much more. The technology infrastructure that AT&T has installed here at the Xcel Energy Center is just what our fans need for the ultimate game experience."
"Investment in wireless broadband infrastructure in Minnesota is important in helping us attract big events like the Frozen Four to our state," said John Edman, Chair and CEO of Explore Minnesota Tourism. "A fast, reliable and robust wireless communications network is a differentiator for Minnesota and helps us attract these kinds of marquee events, visitors and tourism dollars."
"We're delighted that AT&T has invested heavily in technology in St. Paul and across the state," said Matt Kramer, president, St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. "Mobile broadband communications is the lifeblood of many local businesses and important to job creation and the growth of our city's economy."
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 widening array 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 provides 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 the Twin Cities 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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SOURCE AT&T Inc.