WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In just the first six months of this year, AT&T* invested more than $9 million in its wireless network to continue improving customer service in the District.
The wireless investment in Washington, D.C., is part of an overall capital investment of nearly $20 million into AT&T's wireless and wireline networks in the District during the first half of 2010.
Service enhancements included:
- Adding one new cell site in the District. This addition creates more network capacity so wireless coverage is expanded and improved;
- Deploying additional radio carriers to 67 cell sites, which improves 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 Mid Atlantic President J. Michael Schweder said his company's local investment creates many advantages for the people of the District.
"Our investment stimulates the economy and fosters employment for U.S. workers," Schweder 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 Washington, D.C., and to our nation."
Rob Forsyth, AT&T's vice president and general manager in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia, 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 Forsyth. "Can you imagine if traffic downtown 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."
The network investment complements 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 Washington, D.C., 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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SOURCE AT&T Inc.