COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The pageantry of football is back at professional and college stadiums across the country – and fans are lining up with faces painted, giant foam fingers and glowing smartphones in hand.
As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced wireless devices and services, AT&T* on Sept. 15 is deploying a five-beam multi-beam antenna to improve its mobile Internet coverage for college football games in Columbia. It will be mounted atop a mobile cell on wheels, or COW, that will remain in place throughout the football season.
A five-beam multi-beam antenna is an AT&T network innovation capable of providing as much as five times more network traffic capacity than a traditional, single-beam antenna. The antenna is designed to enhance AT&T's wireless network coverage throughout the stadium, providing for more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily-trafficked areas, such as major athletic venues. The five-beam multi-beam antenna allows our customers to enjoy a more reliable and consistent network experience, helping them share their experiences with friends and family from the game.
"When our customers go to the stadium to cheer on the home team, we want them to have a great network experience no matter what they're doing – whether that's making a call, checking email, downloading apps or surfing the Internet," said Pamela Lackey, AT&T South Carolina President. "We're committed to our investment in the local wireless network, and providing enhanced wireless coverage at the stadium is just one way that we're investing in Columbia."
Two AT&T engineers developed the original concept for the five-beam multi-beam antenna, which involves using many narrow beams to divide the crowd into segments that can be more easily served. The five-beam multi-beam antenna helps address the exponential network traffic growth skyrocketing at large sporting venues. Professional football's 2012 championship game in Indianapolis marked the first time in the history of the "big game" that customers created and uploaded more content than they downloaded on AT&T's network. In fact, they uploaded nearly 40 percent more data then they downloaded. Data usage totaled 215 GB and nearly 725,000 text messages were sent and received across AT&T's network.
At a major international comic convention in San Diego, the five-beam multi-beam antennas helped AT&T set a new data usage record for our network at the event, with more than 4,960 gigabytes, or nearly five terabytes, sent across our network over the course of five days.
The antenna also is expected to help improve call reliability, boost data traffic capacity and enable more consistent network access to help customers make the most of their AT&T devices.
This network solution is just one innovative approach AT&T is taking to ensure it provides a seamless and effortless customer experience. AT&T's innovation and investment has resulted in the nation's largest 4G network, covering 275 million people with ultra-fast speeds and a more consistent user experience. That's coverage in 3,000 more 4G cities and towns than Verizon. AT&T plans to roll out 4G LTE in Wilmington, N.C., by the end of 2012.
AT&T is the only U.S. service provider to deploy two compatible 4G technologies to deliver more speed to more customers. AT&T's HSPA+ network enables mobile Internet speeds up to four times faster than 3G technologies.**
AT&T's focus to deliver the best possible mobile Internet experience goes beyond 4G and DAS to embrace additional connection technologies. AT&T operates the nation's largest Wi-Fi network*** including more than 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers across the country. 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.
Over the past five years, AT&T invested more than $115 billion into operations and into acquiring spectrum and other assets that have enhanced our wireless and wired networks. Since 2007, AT&T has invested more capital into the U.S. economy than any other public company. In a July 2012 report, the Progressive Policy Institute ranked AT&T No. 1 on its list of U.S. "Investment Heroes."
For more information about AT&T's coverage in Columbia or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. 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.
** Claim compares 4G download speeds to industry average 3G download speeds.4G compatible device and data plan required.
*** Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. 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 largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, 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.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.