Acadiana Business

Amid throttling complaints, AT&T touts investment in La.

by Leslie Turk

Telecom giant AT&T, under fire lately for slowing down the bandwith of some of its unlimited data subscribers, is reminding loyal customers of efforts to improve its Louisiana network.

Under fire lately for "throttling" the bandwidth of some of its most loyal mobile data customers, specifically those longtime customers with "unlimited" data plans, AT&T Thursday issued a press release touting its more than $1.2 billion investment over the past three years. AT&T says it's been building new cell sites, boosting capacity and adding fiber optics to improve its mobile broadband coverage and the overall performance of its networks.

During 2011, AT&T made more than 2,300 wireless network upgrades in four key categories in Louisiana. The enhancements included:
    activating more than 30 new cell sites or towers to improve network coverage
    deploying faster fiber-optic connections to nearly 775 cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these deployments enable 4G speeds
    adding capacity or an extra layer of frequency to cell sites - like adding lanes to a highway - with the addition of more than 1,225 of these layers, or "carriers"
    upgrading nearly 300 cell sites to provide fast mobile broadband speeds
AT&T says CNN Money recently recognized the company for enhancing its wireless network. Last year, it completed 150,000 network enhancements across the country, more than triple the year before, giving customers more capacity and faster speeds, as well as improving 3G dropped-call performance by 25 percent.

AT&T says it plans to support the build or upgrade of thousands of cell sites nationwide to increase network speed, coverage and reliability for both mobile voice and broadband services. It also plans to install additional radio "carriers" at thousands of cell sites nationally, enabling new layers of spectrum capacity to carry larger volumes of mobile broadband traffic. Additional capacity helps support rising mobile data traffic volumes, which the company says continues to increase at a rapid pace. In 2012, AT&T plans to double its 4G LTE coverage.

The company recently announced a change to its throttling policy for users with unlimited data plans. Instead of throttling customers on a case-by-case basis, which it began doing last year in response to soaring mobile broadband usage and the limited availability of wireless spectrum, customers are now slowed after they reach a certain amount of data usage each month. Read more about the throttling policy here: