AT&T Invests Nearly $30 Million through 2Q09 to Strengthen 3G Wireless Coverage in Houston
Deployment of 850 MHz Spectrum for 3G in the Greater Houston Area Substantially Improves In-Building Wireless Coverage, Adds Capacity to Support Surging Demand for Mobile Broadband
Houston, Texas, September 2, 2009
AT&T* today announced that it invested nearly $30 million through the second quarter of 2009 to complete a substantial upgrade of its local 3G wireless network in the Houston area with the launch of additional wireless spectrum in the 850 MHz band. As a result of this upgrade, local customers should experience better 3G wireless connectivity, performance and enhanced in-building wireless coverage. The enhancement also increases network capacity, and is intended to support ever-growing demand for 3G mobile broadband service. Locally, more than 550 cell towers were updated as part of this enhancement.
This network enhancement is part of AT&T’s ongoing efforts to drive innovation and investment into its 3G wireless network – the fastest 3G network in the nation, according to independent testing. It is also part of the company’s ongoing investment to build the broadband networks that will fuel economic growth and create jobs, and enable the company’s customers to quickly access the content, applications and services that matter most to them.
“We invest in Texas because our state leaders – through some of the most progressive public policy initiatives in the nation – have created an environment that encourages companies to do business here,” said Don Cain, president of AT&T Texas. “Our ongoing investments will ensure that our state has access to the advanced wireless services that help drive economic growth.”
The high-quality 850 MHz spectrum generally results in better in-building coverage. While specific benefits of the additional spectrum will vary by location, AT&T 3G customers should see improved quality and coverage throughout more than 50 Houston area communities, including Angleton, Baytown, Clear Lake, Conroe, Friendswood, Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and many more. AT&T technicians nationwide responsible for monitoring network performance for service quality and coverage have seen significant increases in total 3G data traffic in areas where the 850MHz spectrum has been deployed.
“More than ever before, customers look to wireless communications to stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues,” said Chris Penrose, AT&T vice president and general manager for South Texas. “The additional spectrum helps to enhance the 3G network so that our customers have the best experience when they make a call, check an e-mail or surf the Internet on their AT&T device.”
This deployment is one part of AT&T’s ongoing initiatives to enhance the speed and performance of its network. Recently, AT&T announced plans to further upgrade its 3G network nationwide with HSPA 7.2 technology to deliver considerably faster mobile broadband speeds. The upgrades are planned to begin in the fourth quarter, with completion expected in 2011. Additionally, AT&T is continually optimizing and adding cell sites in the greater Houston area and across the country to maximize performance for customers. AT&T is planning to add nearly 1,900 cell sites nationwide this year, and we’re adding new backhaul connections across the country to support the increasing volumes of mobile data traffic.
“This is a significant investment and shows that even in a slow economy cell phone competition is alive and well, especially in Houston – one of the most competitive wireless markets in the nation,” said state Sen. Mike Jackson.
AT&T’s 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T offers 3G data roaming in more than 100 countries, as well as voice calling in more than 215 countries.
Across the U.S., AT&T’s 3G network is available in more than 350 major metropolitan areas. For more information about AT&T’s 3G coverage in the Houston area or anywhere in the United States, consumers can go to http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/. The online tool can measure the quality of coverage based on a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.
*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. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
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