AT&T Invests Nearly $3.5 Billion in Illinois from 2009 through 2011 to Improve Local Networks

Company Builds New Cell Sites, Boosts Capacity and Adds Fiber Optics to Enhance Networks

Springfield, Illinois , January 31, 2012

AT&T* invested nearly $3.5 billion in its Illinois wireless and wireline networks from 2009 through 2011 with a focus on improving the company’s mobile broadband coverage and overall performance of its networks.

During 2011, AT&T made more than 2,050 wireless network upgrades in four key categories in Illinois.

These enhancements include:

  • Deploying faster fiber-optic connections to nearly 625 cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these deployments enable 4G speeds**.
  • Adding capacity or an extra layer of frequency to cell sites – like adding lanes to a highway – with the addition of nearly 1,350 of these layers, or “carriers”.
  • Upgrading nearly 70 cell sites to provide fast mobile broadband speeds.
  • Activating nearly 45 new cell sites or towers to improve network coverage.

AT&T also launched its new 4G LTE network in the Chicago area.

“By passing major legislation to modernize our approach to telecommunications, Illinois is helping companies make the kinds of investments that will boost jobs and continue our economic recovery across our state,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “I applaud AT&T for its capital investment in the state’s broadband and wireless networks, which will provide Illinois with the ability to create jobs across all sectors of our economy.”

"Across Illinois, this robust investment in the AT&T wireless and broadband networks is essential to spurring the economy and creating jobs.  In our wireless world, mobile and broadband networks create economic opportunities for health care, manufacturing, education, transportation and public safety and virtually every economic sector,” said Paul La Schiazza, President, AT&T Illinois. "In order to meet the surging demand for mobile data and broadband, Illinois must continue to adopt modern telecommunications policies to attract private sector investment in the broadband and wireless networks that fuel job creation.”

CNN Money recently recognized AT&T for enhancing its wireless network. Last year, AT&T completed 150,000 network enhancements across the country, more than triple the year before, giving customers more capacity and faster speeds, as well as improving 3G dropped-call performance by 25 percent.

“Our goal is to deliver a network experience that mobilizes everything for customers,” said Vice President/General Manager of Illinois Dave Fine. “The ongoing investment we’re making in Illinois is designed to further enhance coverage and reliability, and to provide advanced services to our customers. Paired with our recent launch of our 4G LTE network in the Chicago area, customers can use wireless technology to its full potential.”

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. In addition, AT&T plans to install additional radio “carriers” at thousands of cell sites nationally, enabling new layers of spectrum capacity to carry larger volumes of mobile broadband traffic. Additional capacity helps support rising mobile data traffic volumes, which continue to increase at a rapid pace.

AT&T operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network*** with nearly 30,000 hotspots in the U.S. and provides access to nearly 190,000 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 wireless data plans.

For more information about AT&T’s coverage in Illinois 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.

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