AT&T*, building on its strong 2010 record of network accomplishments, today announced a series of network improvements planned for this year in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. The planned upgrades are part of AT&T’s 2011 initiative to deliver the nation’s most advanced mobile broadband service.
Marshall Criser, lll, president of AT&T Florida, says AT&T plans to continue its commitment to delivering superior service to its Tampa area customers in 2011 by making the following upgrades:
- Deploying upgraded backhaul connections to more than 200 cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these backhaul deployments will enable 4G speeds for local customers.
- Delivering additional mobile broadband capacity to nearly 200 cell sites through the addition of new layers of frequency, also known as “carriers.” Adding extra capacity to a cell site is like widening a highway – you’re creating more lanes to accommodate increasing traffic.
- Installing distributed antenna systems in high-traffic areas and facilities, such as sporting and event venues, including Tropicana Field, the local professional football stadium, the local convention center, and the airport. The distributed antenna systems provide improved wireless coverage for customers in indoor or outdoor spaces where geographical limitations might otherwise prevent an optimal wireless experience.
- Activating four new cell sites to improve network coverage and reliability
“The nation’s fastest mobile broadband network is getting even faster with 4G**,” Criser said. “AT&T is continuing to deploy enhanced backhaul connections at existing cell sites locally and nationwide to allow for 4G speeds.”
This year’s plans build upon the improvements AT&T made in 2010 to strengthen its Tampa area mobile broadband network. The 2010 upgrades included:
- Adding extra mobile broadband capacity on 56 cell sites
- Doubling mobile broadband capacity at the local professional football stadium and increasing capacity by 50 percent at Tropicana Field and the airport
- Installing two Radio Network Controllers to help increase capacity for mobile broadband growth
- Migrating cell sites to fiber backhaul during 4Q for faster data speeds
“We invested more than $80 million in our Tampa area wireless and wireline networks from 2008 through 2010, helping AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities on their wireless devices,” Criser added. “Our continued investment and efforts are resulting in a stronger, better performing mobile broadband experience for our local customers.”
AT&T’s mobile broadband network provides customers with the ability to talk and surf at the same time; it’s also up to 35 percent faster than the largest competitor’s CDMA 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-based phones work in less than 40 countries. Business Traveler magazine also recently named AT&T as having the “Best Mobile Coverage in the World” – the fourth time AT&T has received the distinction.
“Consumers who want the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network and the best selection of wireless devices will go with AT&T,” said Rich Guidotti, vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets for West, Central and North Florida. “We’re working hard to provide our customers with best-in-class service, and our ongoing investment in the local wireless network is one way to accomplish this.”
Keith Norden, president and CEO of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, said AT&T’s significant investment to improve its network will further bolster Tampa’s reputation as a great place to live and work.
“High-tech expansions like this one help our business community, our local economy and our overall quality of life and creates jobs at all levels,” Norden added. “Few businesses today are more competitive than the wireless industry. That level of competition results in investment and new technology, which delivers benefits to the entire community.”
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
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 125,000 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 Tampa 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.