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On the Grid: AT&T Enhances Wireless Networks in Prince Georges County


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Wireless service for Prince George’s county AT&T customers just got faster. The company  rolled out its 4G LTE upgrade and  installed macrosites in Upper Marlboro. Courtesy Photo

Wireless service for Prince George’s county AT&T customers just got faster. The company rolled out its 4G LTE upgrade and installed macrosites in Upper Marlboro. Courtesy Photo

Published on: Wednesday, January 08, 2014

By By Yevgeniy Trapeznikov , Special to The Sentinel

Continuing to improve its mobile service infrastructure, America’s largest mobile phone operator has recently implemented upgrades in Upper Marlboro that will allow customers to take advantage of blazingly fast speeds.

As part of the ongoing 4G LTE rollout, AT&T has updated three macro cell sites along Croom Road in Prince George’s County keeping its promise to deliver quality and speedy internet to the customers.

Macro cells are the traditional form of cellular communication represented by antennae mounted on rooftops, tall ground-based masts and other existing structures of the sufficient height to provide an unobstructed view around the aerial unit. This is what AT&T has recently installed in the area between Nottingham and Tanyard roads south of Upper Marlboro.

AT&T invested nearly $425 million in its Maryland wireless and wire line networks under the Project Velocity IP, a three-year investment plan which the operator announced last fall to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. Such notable investment in the network infrastructure enabled AT&T to complete several key network projects in greater Baltimore from 2010 through 2012.

At the end of 2011, the company started 4G LTE deployment in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and launched its 4G LTE network in Prince George’s County at the beginning of 2012. 

“Our goal is for our customers to have an extraordinary experience, and they will be able to download, upload, stream and game faster than ever before on our 4G LTE network,” said J. Michael Schweder, president of AT&T Mid-Atlantic. “As part of the Prince George’s County community, we are always looking for new opportunities to provide enhanced coverage, and our investment in the local wireless network is another way we are accomplishing that.”

The new cell sites are one part of AT&T’s continuous efforts to drive investment and innovation to deliver the nation’s best, most advanced mobile Internet experience for customers. 

Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into domestic operations, more than any other public company in the U.S. Confirming the company’s notable domestic economic involvement, Public Policy Institute study again placed AT&T as No. 1 in the national ranking of U.S. Investment Heroes for 2013 as the company invested over $20 billion domestically in 2012.

AT&T plans to complete 4G LTE deployment in Prince George’s County in mid-2014. But even now, when 4G LTE infrastructure in the county extends as far as College Park area, there are recognized advantages to customers. As the improvement in Upper Marlboro doubles the capacity of existing cell sites, residents can enjoy average download speeds close to 19 Mbps and average upload at 9 Mbps over wireless transfer rates. 

According to Rootmetrics, an independent mobile analytics firm, which recently tested all networks in U.S., AT&T’s mobile download rate was able to max out, in some instances, at fantastic 57.7 Mbps and a maximum upload speed – at 19.6 Mbps.

“In terms of implementing LTE, we are faster than any other carrier. In the way we use the equipment and technology, no one can beat us on speed,” said Larry Taylor, AT&T’s Maryland director of sales.

However, no carrier can sustain such amazing maximum speeds. 

“And while multiple carriers now have LTE, our results show that all LTE is not created equal, with significant differences in both LTE availability and speed among the carriers,” says Rootmetrics in a statement.

That is why it is more appropriate to speak about average figures and consistent performance. According to Rootmetrics tests, at average 18.6 Mbps AT&T has “easily offered the fastest pure LTE download speed of any carrier” leaving behind its competitors for both download and upload speeds. 

The ultimate outcome of AT&T’s 4G accomplishment is better network experience and up to 10 times lower latency – lagging users may experience while streaming HD video, playing mobile games, during video calling or the period they have to wait before downloading a web page.

“One of the customers who came to my store told me a story,” said Taylor. “His daughter turned off the Wi-Fi in the house because she went on LTE. And every time he turned this back on, she turned it off. Because she said LTE was faster than the Wi-Fi in the house.”

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