ATandT Updates 3G Network in New York City
Apple iPhone-owning New Yorkers, AT&T has heard your griping and responded.
The carrier announced June 28 that it has completed an initiative to improve the performance of its 3G wireless voice and data network in four of the city's five boroughs - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. (Sorry, Staten Island.)
Enhancing its network, AT&T explained, included the addition of "new layers of frequency, also known as -carriers,' to more efficiently manage available spectrum and increase 3G capacity."
And, for the non-New Yorkers, one might say, AT&T also deployed a WiFi hot zone in Times Square.
"Our goal is pretty simple: in the city that never sleeps, we're working 24/7 to make sure our customers have a great experience every time they make a call, check e-mail, download a song or video, or surf the Internet on their AT&T device," Tom DeVito, vice president and general manger for AT&T in New York and New Jersey, said in a statement. "Adding more capacity to cell sites is just one way we are doing to that."
During AT&T's first quarter 2010 earnings call, CFO Richard Lindner detailed work that had previously been done, and was underway, to improve its service in what's proven - along with San Francisco - to be its most challenging service area. Service issues, such as dropped calls, have been blamed on the density of both the population and data users in these areas - as well as on Apple's iPhone. As the exclusive U.S. provider of the smartphone, AT&T has been in the unprecedented position of needing to support a new culture of mobility, and growing data needs, that the device has spawned.
In its first quarter, AT&T completed the deployment of high-speed packet access (HSPA) 7.2 technology across its network, and reported that its national 3G data download speeds, on average, increased by 25 percent.
Additional enhancements, beyond the New York area, are said to be coming soon.
"Faster 3G speeds are scheduled to become available this year and in 2011 on a market by market basis as AT&T combines the new technology with the increased deployment of high-speed backhaul connections to cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic technology," the carrier said in its June 28 statement. "Later this year, we plan to upgrade our network to HSPA+, the latest generation of our 3G platform."
Competitor T-Mobile is already rolling out HSPA+ technology, which it says offers speeds comparable to current 4G networks.
News of the AT&T updates comes as a wave of new iPhones have gone live on the AT&T network, following the June 24 launch of the Apple iPhone 4. According to Apple, in the three days following the launch, it sold more than 1.7 million iPhone 4 smartphones.