AT&T Building Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience in Columbus, Announces 2011 Network Upgrade Plans

AT&T Plans to Enable 4G Speeds in Columbus Area with Upgrades to More Than 100 Cell

Columbus, Ohio, February 18, 2011

AT&T*, building on its strong 2010 record of network accomplishments, today announced network improvement plans designed to bring 4G speeds to Columbus and surrounding communities in 2011. The wireless network enhancements are part of AT&T’s planned $19 billion investment in its wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.

AT&T invested more than $160 million in its Columbus area wireless and wireline networks from 2008 through 2010. These investments and others include:

  • Upgrading 60 cell sites in the Columbus area to provide better coverage and capacity
  • Adding 3 retail stores in Columbus, (Polaris Fashion Place, Easton Town Center and Lewis Center) bringing our total number of retail stores in the greater Columbus area to 17
  • Continuing to offer our customers access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with more than 24,000 Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide - and more than 190 hotspots in the Columbus area.

 “AT&T is consistently among the top companies, if not the top, in the U.S. in terms of our investment and we’re committed to helping our customers right here in Columbus take full advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices,” said Tom Pelto, President, AT&T Ohio. “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.”

The nation’s fastest mobile broadband network is getting even faster with 4G**. A key planned upgrade for 2011 is deployment of additional enhanced backhaul connections to more than 100 cell sites in Franklin County to enable 4G speeds.

“AT&T’s major investment in Columbus to improve its network will help strengthen our reputation as a great city to live, work and raise a family,” said Andrew Ginther, Columbus City Council President. “A robust telecom infrastructure is important to our business community, the local economy, and our residents overall quality of life.”

 “AT&T’s significant investment in central Ohio is driven in part by public policies that encourage and incent investments,” said Andrew Doehrel, President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.  “We need Ohio to be open for business.”

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.

“Consumers who want the nation’s fastest network and the best selection of wireless devices will go with AT&T,” said Larry Evans, vice president and general manager of AT&T Ohio and Western Pennsylvania area. “We’re working hard to provide our customers best-in-class service and our ongoing investment in the local wireless network is one way to accomplish this.”

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 devices work in fewer than 45 countries and 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.

“Columbus consumers and businesses will continue to benefit from AT&T’s investment in the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO, The Columbus Partnership. “Investment in wireless technologies will continue to drive job creation and innovation, which are keys to the success of Columbus 2020.”

Ted Ford, President and CEO, TechColumbus, added that widespread availability of mobile broadband benefits many industries and businesses in Columbus. “AT&T’s investment will be a boost to our work at TechColumbus to accelerate business growth, job creation, and prosperity in the 15-county region of Central Ohio.

 “AT&T invested more than $1.4 billion in its Ohio wireless and wireline networks from 2008 through 2010 helping AT&T customers to take full advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices,” Pelto 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’s focus is delivering the nation’s most advanced mobile broadband experience, which includes delivering the benefits of mobile broadband networks, devices and applications. With the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T provides accelerated mobile data speeds and simultaneous voice and data capabilities for an amazing wireless voice and data experience.  At the same time, AT&T is widening its lead in smartphones and devices, with 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including an industry-leading Android lineup. And we’re driving development of wide-ranging mobile applications with three AT&T Foundry collaborative innovation centers planned for this year, as well as leadership in multiple initiatives to provide new tools for apps developers.

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 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 Columbus 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.

** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See for details and locations.

About AT&T
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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Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might 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 and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.