Thursday AM September 3rd, 2009

AT&T has completed $30 million in upgrades to its local 3g wireless network in the Houston area. The enhancement increases network capacity, and should help in-building wireless coverage. Ed Mayberry reports.


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The upgrade is part of the launch of additional wireless spectrum in the 850 mHz band, as AT&T’s Chris Penrose explains.

“All it is, is just the ability to get faster and faster data speeds over the mobile networks so that people can get those, you know, types of speeds that they’re used to, maybe sitting in a home.  So we basically have doubled out capacity on our 3G network in the Houston area.  Over 550 cell sites have been overlayed with this new spectrum.  We’ve also provided much better in-building penetration, because our 850 mHz spectrum penetrates buildings better than our 1900 spectrum that we currently had our 3G services on.” 

Penrose says technicians monitoring network performance for service quality and coverage see significant increases in total 3G data traffic in areas where the 850 mHz spectrum has been deployed, alongside its existing 1900 mHz band.

“We kind of had a two-lane highway out there with our, with our current 3G services.  Now we’ve basically expanded to a four-lane highway.  And they’re gonna see both faster speeds because there’s more room to make the connections, as well as you’re going to have better in-building penetration because our 850 spectrum penetrates buildings better than 1900.  This has been a major initiative for Houston.  It’s been an 18-month project to actually upgrade our entire Houston-area network.”

AT&T is further upgrading its 3G network nationwide with HSPA 7.2 technology, which will deliver considerably faster mobile broadband speeds. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

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