CHICAGO, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T*, building on its strong 2010 record of network accomplishments, today announced highlights of local cell site investment plans for 2011. AT&T is focused on building new cell sites and expanding capacity at existing sites in the Chicago area as part of its overall planned $19-billion investment in its U.S. wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.
AT&T plans to invest more than $160 million in Chicagoland on cell sites this year, including building more than new 35 cell sites to increase coverage and network capacity, and continuing to add network capacity to further reduce network congestion and improve customers' mobile voice and broadband experience. From 2008 to 2010, AT&T invested more than $2.4 billion in Chicagoland on its wireless and wireline network as part of its commitment to superior service in the area and these investments are part of the more than $3.8 billion AT&T invested from 2008 through 2010 across Illinois.
"The telecommunication modernization act I signed last year was designed to grow our economy and create more Illinois jobs through significant investment in our state's broadband and wireless networks - and it is already working," said Governor Pat Quinn. "Today's news shows that this new law is attracting major private sector investment in the latest technologies, boosting economic recovery throughout the state."
These cell site improvements are just part of AT&T's planned overall investment in the Chicago area, as the company is also working on enabling 4G** speeds, enhancing wireless backhaul capacity across the area, enhancing in-building coverage and installing distributed antenna systems to enhance coverage in high-traffic areas like stadiums and event venues, and enhancing its wired broadband and backbone networks.
Paul La Schiazza, president of AT&T Illinois, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Chicago area in 2011:
- Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to more than 500 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and add capacity to support more mobile traffic, like adding traffic lanes to a highway
- Installing more than 35 new cell sites to improve network coverage
- Adding spectrum carriers to 45 cell sites to support more traffic
- Deploying and upgrading Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks in key locations such as sports facilities, airports and other high-traffic venues to enhance network coverage
"The state's new, modern telecommunications policy passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Quinn is making Illinois a more attractive state for AT&T to invest in broadband, wireless and emerging technologies," said La Schiazza, President, AT&T Illinois.
AT&T's advanced network provides several important advantages for customers. Unlike some competitors, AT&T's mobile-broadband network provides customers with the ability to talk and surf at the same time. For instance, you can look up directions to an event while staying on the phone with your boss, or browse your favorite social media sites while chatting with a friend. AT&T's mobile broadband network also is up to 35 percent faster than our largest competitor's CDMA-based network on average nationally.
AT&T also provides access to voice service in more than 220 countries and data service in more than 200 countries. AT&T's largest competitor's CDMA-only devices work in fewer than 45 countries. Business Traveler magazine recently named AT&T as having the "Best Mobile Coverage in the World" – the fourth time AT&T has received the distinction.
"We're investing in our Chicago area network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," Dave Fine, Vice President and General Manager, AT&T Illinois said. "This year, we're committed to providing best-in-class wireless voice service to our customers, and we're backing that up with the right investments."
AT&T plans to provide additional details on Chicagoland area network investment plans on a community-by-community basis over the coming weeks. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.
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 also 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 data plans.
For more information about AT&T's coverage in the Chicago area or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. Using the online tool, AT&T customers can measure coverage quality from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
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. Actual speeds experienced will vary and depend on several factors, including device, location, capacity, facilities, and other conditions.
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.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.