PHOENIX, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In just the first six months of this year, AT&T* invested more than $60 million in its wireless network to continue improving customer service in Arizona. The wireless investment in Arizona is part of an overall capital investment of more than $75 million into AT&T's wireless and wireline networks in Arizona during the first half of 2010.
Service enhancements included:
- Adding 29 new cell sites throughout the state, including in cities such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and Flagstaff. These additions create more network capacity so wireless coverage is expanded and improved;
- An additional 98 antenna locations focused on high-traffic areas like Scottsdale;
- Upgrading five additional cell sites to mobile broadband service, the fastest wireless technology AT&T provides;
- Deploying additional radio carriers in Phoenix and Tucson to improve the quality and coverage of wireless voice and data connections;
- The investment also includes upgrades to the AT&T wireline infrastructure, such as additional AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots and extended reach of broadband services.
AT&T customers are seeing the results of this investment with faster mobile broadband speeds and strong reliability, according to the latest round of comprehensive drive testing by Global Wireless Solutions Inc. (GWS). This GWS testing showed that AT&T maintained the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, connected more than 98 percent of calls on the first attempt, and carried 98.65 percent of calls to completion, a difference of less than one call out of 1,000 from the only higher-scoring provider.
AT&T Arizona President Jerry Fuentes said his company's local investment creates many advantages for the people of Arizona.
"Our investment stimulates the economy and fosters employment for US workers," Fuentes said. "We are proud of that. In fact, AT&T has invested more in the last three years than any of our U.S. competitors. That creates economic growth across the board. Even in this troubled economy, we plan to invest $18-$19 billion this year, assuming the regulatory environment remains favorable. Our plan to invest up to 10 percent more than we did last year—again in these tough economic times—is a major commitment to our customers. But it's also a huge commitment to our state and to our nation."
"As policymakers, we try to make decisions that encourage businesses to invest in Arizona. Investments such as this will help strengthen Arizona's economy, attract new business and provide the latest technology to our residents," said Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Kirk Adams.
Chris Percy, AT&T's vice president and general manager in Arizona, said that AT&T remains focused on making the nation's fastest mobile broadband network even faster.
"Our investment strategy allows us to continue increasing speeds, which means our capabilities continue to grow with our customers. Average national mobile broadband network speeds during the first six months of 2010 are up more than 25 percent, based on internal data." These faster speeds have been delivered even as AT&T has managed unprecedented growth in mobile data usage. Over a three-year period (2007-2009), mobile data traffic on AT&T's wireless network jumped about 5,000 percent.
"Put that in perspective," said Percy. "Can you imagine if traffic on I-10 increased 5,000 percent? It would be an impossible situation, worse than the 60-mile traffic jam recently in China. But we have not only met that unprecedented growth, our network serves customers better and faster than before."
"No other company in the country has faced that kind of growth. There's no way to tell how their networks would have fared. But we've been tested by fire—like none other—and because of that, our customers are benefiting."
Percy continued, "The 29 new cell sites throughout the state and additional 98 antenna locations are part of AT&T's plan to enhance coverage by adding more than 300 new cell sites or antenna locations in Arizona this year."
The network investment compliments the introduction of new wireless data plans that make the benefits of mobile broadband more affordable for more people. Customers can choose the data plan that best fits their needs, starting with the DataPlus plan at $15 per month.
For more information about AT&T's mobile broadband coverage in Arizona or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer. Using the online tool, AT&T customers can measure coverage quality of coverage from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark. A map of AT&T Wi-Fi locations is available at www.att.com/go.
For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit www.att.com/networknews.
*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.
DataPlus plan requires a wireless agreement and includes 200MB of data; each additional 200MB of overage is $15 and other restrictions apply.
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