MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In just the first six months of this year, AT&T* invested nearly $40 million in its wireless network to continue improving customer service in Minnesota.
The wireless investment in Minnesota is part of an overall capital investment of nearly $50 million in AT&T's wireless and wireline networks across the state in the first half of 2010.
Service enhancements included:
- Adding more than 55 new cell sites throughout the state, including areas such as Grand Rapids, Ham Lake, Lutsen, St. Cloud and West St. Paul. These additions create more network capacity so wireless coverage is expanded and improved;
- Upgrading more than 60 additional cell sites in Brainerd and Duluth to mobile broadband service, the fastest wireless technology AT&T provides;
- Deploying additional radio carriers in Duluth, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, which improves the quality and coverage of wireless voice and data connections.
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's investment in our wireless broadband infrastructure is absolutely essential to help stimulate our state's economy, spur innovation and fuel job creation," said Rep. Kurt Zellers. "It also moves our state closer to the goal of universal broadband deployment, which will enhance economic development and help ensure that Minnesota remains an attractive state to live and work."
Bob Bass, president of AT&T Minnesota said his company's local investment creates many advantages for the people of Minnesota.
"Our investment stimulates the economy and fosters employment for U.S. workers," Bass 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."
Hardmon Williams, AT&T's vice president and general manager in Minnesota, 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.
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 Minnesota 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.
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. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.