RICHMOND, Va., May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* today announced plans to add and upgrade cell sites across Virginia as part of its 2011 initiative to deliver the nation's most-advanced mobile broadband experience.
The Virginia network enhancements are part of AT&T's planned $19-billion investment in its national wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011. The investment will support plans to enable 4G speeds over an increasing portion of the country throughout the year, including the planned initial launch of LTE beginning mid-year and the deployment of enhanced backhaul connections that enable 4G speeds**.
The 2011 investment will also support the build and upgrade of thousands of cell sites nationwide designed to increase network speed, coverage and reliability for both mobile voice and broadband services. AT&T also plans to install additional radio "carriers" at more than 30,000 cell sites nationally this year, enabling new layers of spectrum capacity to carry larger volumes of mobile broadband traffic. This additional capacity enables AT&T to support rising mobile data traffic volumes, which have increased more than 8,000 percent over the past four years.
Today's announcement builds on the momentum established with AT&T's 2010 wireless investment, when it added more than 90 new cell sites in Virginia and upgraded more than 130 existing sites to mobile broadband. From 2008 to 2010, AT&T's capital investment in its Virginia wireline and wireless networks was nearly $700 million.
"A more advanced mobile broadband experience drives economic growth, stimulates jobs and equips Virginia businesses to meet the network demands of today and tomorrow," said J. Michael Schweder, President AT&T Mid Atlantic. "We've significantly ramped up our wireless investments to enable an experience that offers Virginia consumers better speed, better reliability and better availability. In addition, our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA also represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand our network in Virginia. If approved, this deal 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 more than 97 percent."
Across the country, AT&T also continues to drive innovation in network technologies to provide maximum efficiency and performance for customers. In 2011, AT&T will focus on continuing to enhance its wireless network forecasting capabilities to better predict usage trends and build network capacity to always stay one step ahead of customer need. AT&T also continues to pioneer broadband solutions for high-traffic areas like stadiums and public places, deploying technologies including Distributed Access System networks and AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones.
"Smartphones, tablets and laptops are continuing to drive unprecedented demand for wireless access everywhere," said Erika K. Thompson-Kemp, AT&T's Vice President and General Manager for the Virginia area. "We're investing in and deploying a combination of technologies to meet these needs and ensure an advanced broadband experience."
AT&T 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 wireless data plans.
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 has the broadest international coverage of any U.S. wireless provider, providing access to voice service in more than 220 countries and data service in more than 200 countries.
For more information about AT&T's coverage in Virginia or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer.
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.
*** 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, 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 news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may 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 or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.