MINNEAPOLIS, June 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T1 applauded Governor Mark Dayton today after he signed into law a new measure to streamline and standardize rules that will accelerate the deployment of small cell technology, helping pave the way for the next generation of high-speed wireless services in Minnesota. Small cell technology is an integral building block for 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.
"Thanks to Governor Dayton signing legislation that encourages companies to invest more in wireless infrastructure, AT&T is accelerating its wireless build out plans in Minnesota with tens of millions of dollars dedicated to mobile network enhancements in the state," said Paul Weirtz, President of AT&T Minnesota. "This investment will include next-generation upgrades that will help pave the path to 5G mobile services in the years ahead. This legislation would not have been possible without the strong support and hard work of legislators like Representative Marion O'Neill and Senator David Osmek."
The new law will enable AT&T to accelerate its deployment of small cells in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, especially as the company enhances its network in preparation for the "Big Game" in February 2018.
To prepare for the Big Game and to enhance its network overall, AT&T plans to add capacity to numerous existing macro sites and to submit hundreds of applications for city permits for small cells in the Twin Cities.
Small cells are shoebox-sized antennas that can be affixed to existing structures such as traffic signals, buildings and street lights. The size and flexibility of small cells helps AT&T target areas needing additional capacity in a way that is low profile and unobtrusive.
Small cells will enable faster wireless Internet speeds, provide more and targeted network capacity for things like streaming movies or music, and lay the foundation for technologies of the future – such as 5G, smart cities and connected cars and devices.
"The possibilities a 5G world promises are both limitless and exciting, and we want to make sure Minnesota is a leading state that welcomes and encourages investment in the latest super-fast wireless technologies," said Rep. Marion O'Neill. "This new law streamlines the process for wireless investment, helping to bring better wireless service to residents and businesses and positioning Minnesota to benefit from the 5G economy."
"With this new law, Minnesota now has forward-looking rules that maintain the local control permitting process and will also allow for the acceleration of the deployment of next-generation high speed wireless infrastructure in the state," said Senator David Osmek. "5G is the wave of the future and we want to make sure Minnesota is at the forefront of emerging technologies."
AT&T has invested nearly $350 million in our Minnesota wireless and wired networks during 2014-2016. These investments drive a wide range of upgrades to reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for Minnesota consumers and businesses. They also enhance critical services that support public safety and first responders.
In 2016, AT&T made over 1,350 wireless network upgrades in Minnesota. These upgrades include the addition of new cell sites as well as adding network capacity to existing cell sites. Following the passage of the recent small cell legislation, AT&T will continue its investment in Minnesota with additional upgrades.
The AT&T LTE network covers nearly 400 million people in North America. Notable Minnesota network enhancements in 2016 included:
- Upgrading the Minneapolis area network to prepare for major sporting events in 2017, including adding wireless capacity to the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the new football stadium downtown.
- The installation of an Outdoor DAS at four locations at the University of Minnesota to improve wireless service and speed to students, faculty, staff and area residents.
- Deploying Cells on Wheels (COWs) to keep crowds connected at the Minnesota State Fair and other major events.
We have an extensive Wi-Fi network with more than 40,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers. We provide access to Wi-Fi at more than 1 million Hot Spots around the world. Most AT&T smartphone and home Internet customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost. Wi-Fi usage doesn't count towards customers' monthly wireless data plans.2
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.
1 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.
2 A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See attwifi.com for details and locations.
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*Claim based on the Nielsen Certified Data Network Score. Score includes data reported by wireless consumers in the Nielsen Mobile Insights survey, network measurements from Nielsen Mobile Performance and Nielsen Drive Test Benchmarks for Q2+Q3 2016 across 121 markets.
**Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; and voice roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.