AT&T Boosts Mobile Broadband Network In South Carolina During First Half Of Year

Local Enhancements Part of AT&T's 2011 Plans to Invest in the $20 Billion Range in its Wireless and Wireline Networks

Columbia , South Carolina, October 20, 2011

AT&T* announced today that it invested more than $125 million during the first half of 2011 in its South Carolina wireless and wireline networks to improve mobile broadband coverage and voice performance for its customers.

“Advanced communications systems and services are absolutely essential to economic growth and to job creation in a digital, global marketplace,” said state Senator Glenn McConnell.  “The General Assembly has worked long and hard to create a policy climate in the telecommunications area that both protects consumers and stimulates business investment in our state. I am pleased to see that those efforts are continuing to pay dividends for South Carolina and that AT&T is continuing to invest in advanced technology for the citizens of South Carolina.”

From January through June, AT&T made the following improvements in South Carolina:

  • Deployed enhanced backhaul connections to more than 65 cell sites in and around Columbia. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these backhaul deployments enable 4G speeds.
  • Added spectrum carriers, or an extra layer of frequency, to more than 50 cell sites to support more traffic:

o   Columbia and surrounding areas- Added capacity to five cell sites in Richland County, one site in Kershaw County, six in Florence County, and five in Darlington County

o   Charleston County – Added capacity to 14 cell sites in Charleston County

o   Greenville and surrounding areas – Added capacity to 13 cell sites in Greenville County, four in Anderson County, four in Oconee County and three in Spartanburg County

  • Installed 15 new cell sites to improve network coverage:

o   Columbia and surrounding areas – Installed two new cell sites in Richland County, five in Fairfield County, and three in Florence County.

o   Charleston and surrounding areas – Installed one new cell site in Charleston County, one in Berkley County, and one in Georgetown County.

o   Greenville and surrounding areas – Installed two new cell sites in Pickens County.

“This is great news for our state at a time when attracting new investment is still a challenge across the country,” said state House Speaker Bobby Harrell.  “AT&T recognizes that South Carolina is a good investment as it continues its commitment to make new and better technologies available to serve consumers and stimulate job growth.” 

AT&T plans to support the build or upgrade of thousands of cell sites nationwide to increase network speed, coverage and reliability for both mobile voice and broadband services. AT&T also plans to install additional radio “carriers” at thousands of cell sites nationally this year, enabling new layers of spectrum capacity to carry larger volumes of mobile broadband traffic. Additional capacity helps support rising mobile data traffic volumes, which have increased more than 8,000 percent over the past four years.

 “More than ever before, customers look to wireless communications to stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues,” said Pamela Lackey, AT&T president in South Carolina. “We’re working to make this possible by investing in new wireless coverage in South Carolina. In addition, our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand our network. If approved, this deal means that we’ll be able to expand the next generation of mobile broadband – 4G LTE – from our current plan of 80 percent of the U.S. population to more than 97 percent.”

For more information about AT&T’s coverage in South Carolina 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 of coverage from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.

“These network upgrades allow us to provide our mobile broadband customers with more of the voice, messaging and internet capabilities they want in more of South Carolina,” said Laurent Therivel, AT&T’s vice president and general manager of Mobility and Consumer Markets in the Carolinas. “Whether it’s taking photos or recording video, chatting or texting, surfing the web or navigating a new city, our customers are turning to their mobile devices to organize and enjoy their lives. AT&T’s network is making it possible.”

For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

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