AT&T Invests More Than $1.8 Billion in North Carolina From 2008 Through 2011 to Improve Local Networks

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

Charlotte , North Carolina, February 15, 2012

AT&T* invested more than $1.8 billion in its North Carolina wireless and wireline networks from 2008 through 2011 with a focus on improving the company’s mobile broadband coverage and overall performance of its networks.

“Advanced communications systems and services are absolutely essential to economic growth and job creation in a digital, global marketplace,” said Lew Ebert, President and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber.  “Dependable wireless service, and especially mobile broadband, is increasingly important for individuals and for businesses looking to compete literally around the world. When companies invest in keeping North Carolina’s communications networks at the forefront of technology, it is good news for everyone.”

During 2011, AT&T made nearly 2,500 wireless network upgrades in four key categories in North Carolina. These enhancements include:

  • Activating more than 60 new cell sites or towers to improve network coverage.
  • Deploying faster fiber-optic connections to more than 900 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 more than 1,050 of these layers, or “carriers”.
  • Upgrading nearly 475 cell sites to provide fast mobile broadband speeds.

AT&T also launched its new 4G LTE network in Charlotte in 2011 and in Raleigh and Chapel Hill January of this year.

“Innovation and investment are the keys that will drive economic growth and help create new jobs,“ said Cynthia Marshall, President, AT&T North Carolina. “We are excited about the new opportunities which this significant capital commitment will open for individuals and communities across North Carolina. Aggressive investing like this is the direct result of decisions made by North Carolina policymakers to create the public policy environment which encourages business and welcomes the commitment of private capital to serve the state.”

“Our goal is to deliver a network experience that mobilizes everything for customers,” said Laurent Therivel, AT&T’s VP/GM of Mobility and Consumer Markets in the Carolinas. “The ongoing investment we’re making in North Carolina is designed to increase coverage and reliability, and to provide advanced services to our customers. Paired with our recent launch of our 4G LTE network in Charlotte and Raleigh, customers can use wireless technology to its full potential.”

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.

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 North 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.

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