HONOLULU, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AT&T* today unveiled its Hawaii wireless network investment plans for 2010, which include the addition of nearly 10 new cell sites and the upgrade of more than 10 additional cell sites to 3G throughout the state.
The planned wireless network enhancement strategy is part of AT&T's 2010 wireline and wireless capital investment, which is expected to be in the $18 billion to $19 billion range companywide, an increase of between 5 and 10 percent over 2009. This planned amount also includes an increase of about $2 billion in capital expenditures for wireless and backhaul related to AT&T's wireless network. This planned level of investment is framed by the expectation that regulatory and legislative decisions relating to the telecom sector will continue to be sensitive to investment.
"These investments in smart networks are enabling the innovation of today and tomorrow that will enhance economic growth and stimulate jobs," said Dan Youmans, President - AT&T Hawaii. "We commend the work of the many leaders of our state who are creating a positive economic environment that provides opportunities for companies to continue to invest aggressively in Hawaii."
Today's announcement builds on AT&T's 2009 wireless investment, during which it added five new cell sites in Hawaii and upgraded nearly 10 existing sites to 3G. From 2007 through 2009, AT&T's total capital investment in its Hawaii wireless and wireline networks was nearly $95 million. From 2007 through 2009, AT&T's wireless network investment in Hawaii was more than $75 million.
Internet usage growth has brought tremendous benefits for consumers, but requires tremendous investments in infrastructure. This significant investment in infrastructure and jobs is possible due to policy that enables companies to compete and offer the innovative services that consumers are increasingly demanding. AT&T has been working with policy makers to support a national broadband plan that enables broadband adoption and ensures broadband access to every American by 2014.
Wireless data traffic on the AT&T network has grown more than 5,000 percent over the past three years, largely attributed to today's advanced smartphones that are generating dramatically increasing volumes of network traffic. In fact, roughly 40 percent of AT&T's postpaid customer base uses a smartphone today, representing twice the number of smartphone customers than any other U.S. provider.
"We're seeing advanced smartphones driving up to 10 times the amount of usage of other devices on average," said Tammi Terrell, AT&T's Vice President and General Manager for the San Diego, Nevada and Hawaii areas. "Despite these unprecedented increases in wireless data traffic, AT&T's network investments and upgrades have enabled us to continue to deliver the nation's fastest 3G network."
AT&T recently completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide that prepares the nation's fastest 3G network for even faster speeds. The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T's network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with an enhanced mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future.
Faster 3G speeds are scheduled to become available this year and in 2011 as AT&T combines the new technology with our second initiative to dramatically increase the number of high-speed backhaul connections to cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic connections, adding capacity from cell sites to the AT&T backbone network.
The backhaul upgrades are also a key step in the evolution toward next-generation LTE mobile broadband technology. AT&T is designing its new backhaul deployments to accommodate both faster 3G and future LTE deployments. AT&T currently plans to begin trials of LTE technology this year, and to begin LTE deployment in 2011, matching industry time lines for broader availability of compelling devices and supporting network equipment.
AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T offers 3G data roaming in more than 115 countries, as well as voice calling in more than 220 countries. The technology also provides customers the ability to talk and surf the Internet at the same time.
AT&T is also an industry leader in Wi-Fi with the nation's largest Wi-Fi network, which complements its wired broadband and wireless 3G networks, offering Wi-Fi connectivity in more than 20,000 U.S. hotspots — including retail stores and restaurants from coast-to-coast. A full list of AT&T Wi-Fi locations is available at www.attwifi.com.
AT&T operates 13 AT&T-owned retail locations in Hawaii. AT&T's products and services are also available at a number of other authorized dealers and national retail locations.
For more information about AT&T's wireless coverage in Hawaii, or anywhere in the United States, consumers can go to http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/. The online tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
*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.
Largest Wi-Fi network claim based on non-municipal company owned and operated hotspots. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply.
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 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. AT&T 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(SM) and AT&T | DIRECTV(SM) 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's Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations are known for their leadership in directory publishing and advertising sales. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies.
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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.
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