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AT&T Building Most Advanced Mobile Broadband Experience in Charlotte, Announces 2011 Network Upgrade Plans
Apr 01, 2011 (01:04 PM EDT)


AT&T to Expand Backhaul in 2011 in Charlotte to Enable 4G Speeds, Increase Mobile Broadband Capacity, Upgrade Hundreds of Cell Sites

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T*, building on its strong 2010 record of network accomplishments, today announced network improvement plans designed to enable 4G speeds** and enhanced reliability to Charlotte and surrounding communities in 2011. The wireless network enhancement plans are part of AT&T's planned $19-billion investment in its U.S. wireless and wireline networks and other capital projects in 2011.

Todd Lanham, AT&T's external affairs regional director in Charlotte, says AT&T plans the following network improvements in the Charlotte area in 2011:

  • Replacing more than 400 antennas at more than 96 cell sites, across Charlotte and along major highways, to enhance voice quality, reduce dropped calls and deliver more efficient, consistent mobile broadband speeds.
  • Delivering additional wireless capacity to more than 259 cell towers in Charlotte area through the addition of new layers of frequency, also known as "carriers," to more efficiently manage available spectrum and increase mobile broadband capacity at local cell sites.
  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to 178 more cell sites to enable 4G speeds in Charlotte.
  • Installing nearly 23 additional cells in Charlotte.
  • Deploying Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks at multiple venues to enhance network coverage during events.

"Our story is getting even better for Charlotte and North Carolina," Lanham said. "Our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA represents a great deal for customers and a major commitment to strengthen and expand our network. In fact, this deal, if approved, 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 95 percent."

Lanham also highlighted that AT&T invested more than $400 million in its Charlotte wireless and wireline network from 2008 through 2010 as part of its commitment to superior service in the area:

  • Installing 63 new cell sites
  • Upgrading 182 cell sites for mobile broadband
  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to 104 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and more capacity
  • Adding spectrum carriers to 83 cell sites
  • Deploying DAS networks at multiple venues

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said AT&T's significant investment to improve its network will further bolster Charlotte's reputation as a great place to live and work.

"High-tech expansions like this one help our business community, our local economy and our overall quality of life," Foxx said. "Few businesses today are more competitive than the wireless industry. That level of competition results in investment and new technology, which delivers benefits to the entire community."

The nation's fastest mobile broadband network is getting faster with 4G. A key planned upgrade for 2011 is deployment of enhanced backhaul connections to more than 175 cell sites in Charlotte to enable 4G speeds. Backhaul connections carry traffic between cell sites and AT&T's nationwide network. Enhanced fiber-optic and ethernet backhaul connections expand capacity many times over, and enable additional expansion in the years to come.

"We're investing in our Charlotte network to help AT&T customers take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices," said Alison Hall, vice president and general manager for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets in North Carolina and South Carolina. "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."

Michael J. Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, applauded AT&T's network investment in Charlotte.

"We welcome AT&T's investment in this critical infrastructure for our Center City," Smith said. "Improved mobile broadband will serve our guests, residents and employees with the on-demand bandwidth found in great urban places."

AT&T's advanced network provides several important advantages for customers. 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.

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-only devices work in fewer than 45 countries. 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.

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 offers a wide-ranging portfolio of smartphones and devices, with 20 4G devices planned for 2011, including a robust 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 offers access to more than 135,000 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 Charlotte 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.

**4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul. Available in limited areas. Availability increasing with ongoing backhaul deployment. Requires 4G device. Learn more at att.com/network. Actual speeds experienced will vary and depend on several factors, including device, location, capacity, facilities, and other conditions.

***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 www.attwifi.com 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.

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. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.Facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz to discover more about our small business services.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

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.

SOURCE AT&T Inc.