AT&T expands 3G mobile broadband network capability in New York City area

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!AT&T today announced the completion of a local initiative to increase the wireless capacity of its 3G mobile broadband network in Manhattan as well as the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. As a result of this upgrade, customers in these areas are expected to experience improved 3G wireless voice and data connectivity and performance, especially during peak hours.

The network enhancement includes the addition of new layers of frequency, also known as “carriers,” to more efficiently manage available spectrum and increase 3G capacity. The additions have been applied to nearly all cell sites in Manhattan and in other areas as needed throughout the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. The result is an increased allocation of network resources for AT&T’s 3G network to support ever-growing demand for mobile broadband services.

“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,” said Tom DeVito, vice president and general manager for AT&T in NY and NJ, in the press release. “Adding more capacity to cell sites is just one way we are doing that.”

AT&T recently deployed a WiFi hot zone in Times Square to help AT&T customers stay connected in “America’s Crossroads,” one of the busiest locations in the world.

Wireless data traffic on the AT&T network has grown more than 5,000 percent from 2007 to 2009, largely attributed to the increasing popularity of advanced smartphones and the performance of AT&T’s 3G network. AT&T network teams are enhancing network capacity, capabilities and performance to keep up with unprecedented demand for mobile services.

In New York City, AT&T has added a layer of high-performing 850 MHz spectrum to deploy more radio capacity and enhance in-building coverage throughout the city. As of the first quarter of 2010, the company has seen two consecutive quarters of strong voice quality improvements in New York according to internal measurements. In Manhattan, quality improved 47 percent quarter over quarter.

Additionally, as of the first quarter of 2010 our national 3G average data download speeds are up 25 percent versus a year ago based on internal data.

Earlier this year, AT&T completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide that prepares the nation’s fastest 3G network for even faster speeds. The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T’s network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with an enhanced mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future. 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. Late this year, AT&T plans to upgrade our network to HSPA+, the latest generation of our 3G platform.

AT&T’s 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T has the best international coverage of any U.S. wireless provider, delivering voice service in over 220 countries and data service in more than 195 countries. AT&T also offers voice and data roaming coverage on 130 major cruise ships, as well as 3G services in 115 countries.

For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit

Source: AT&T Inc.


  1. Reminds me of when the moron mayor of Los Angeles held a press conference declaring all the pot holes in Los Angeles fixed and a couple weeks later we were declared to have the worst roads of any major metropolitan area in the country, and now we’re selling the big pavement machines for cash. Can’t afford to pay people to run them.

  2. Lets see… ATT bought 15000 units 6 months ago from Cisco to install for upgrading 3G signal across the USA. They have installed a total of 300 to date. That leaves 14700 units left to install. At this rate, ATT will have their 3G upgrades done by 2035- guessing at installing 600 per year average.
    ATT: You have the technology already sitting in your warehouses to expand 3G across the USA, why are you sitting on it??

  3. Well for what it’s worth, I’ll go against the grain and compliment the upgrades. I’ve gotten better signal even over the last few months, and especially in the last couple of weeks here in the Bronx. I’m getting more of a signal in buildings now, even some subway stations, and have rarely experienced any sort of drop-off.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled AT&T;network bashing.

  4. I understand that AT&T;needs to improve coverage and all that. But I keep hearing complains about dropped calls, lack of coverage, etc. coming only from iPhone users. Is it me or isn’t it obvious that this could mean a design flaw on the iPhone? I mean, has anybody else, Android, Nokia, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, dumb phones users, anybody else at all complained about the same issue? Of course, everybody concentrates on this issue because the popularity of the iPhone. I am an iPhone 3GS user myself, and I have also experienced the dropped call malady. However, a friend of mine agrees with me on this issue, because he can flash the ROM on his windows mobile phone and get better reception at work or at home, while a co-worker of his has an iPhone in the same room and can’t get a signal. Can anybody explain this to me please?

  5. @Richie:

    Just because ATT has the units doesn’t mean they can be installed right away. If ATT doesn’t have previously leased space where it can install a unit, it has to locate space and negotiate a lease with the property owner. No small feat in NYC, both finding space and negotiating a lease. Some sites may not have adequate power to the site, and that takes time for utility companies to run. And this doesn’t even cover getting proper permits from city or county governments, let alone dealing with potential local resident NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) who won’t allow a tower to be put up where they can see it.

    At least ATT is working on it. But there are many more steps to installing new units than just buying them.

  6. Perhaps everyone should have the FCC Mobile Broadband Test app.

    I seldom ever have drop calls except for certain areas which have always had issues. In this case, I simply switch off 3G and make my calls over Edge . Works amazingly well.

    Can’t remember exactly where I got the hint, but I suspect it was from Apple Support.

  7. Last week, a smiling and exuberant, Verizon service technician for towers (and a former ATT employee) approached me in a local Starbucks and politely asked to see the iPad I was using. This guy was excited about Apple’s technology.

    He confided that he and other employees had just watched a video announcement from executives promising an “iDevice” soon. He said, that in the Sacramento Valley, Verizon already has deployed hundreds of tower upgrades (supposedly 4G) in preparation for this and he estimated an “iDevice” launch would happen before the end of 2010, and perhaps, by this fall.

    Furthermore, he noted that all Verizon has to do to install tower upgrades is to unplug and plug-in expansion cards, whereas ATT has to upgrade their entire infrastructure at most sites, bringing in entire new, wheeled mobile boxes that stand seven-feet tall, and tediously make multiple connections to antennas, backhaul lines and power, all of which take much time and testing.

    This tech was thoroughly stoked about my iPhone and iPad and the big changes coming to Verizon. He just could not stop gushing about being able to use Apple devices on the Verizon network.

    ATT better get busy or Verizon just may eat their lunch. The guy impressed me to the point that I’m wondering if I should delay my own iPhone 4 purchase until fall (to see what happens) or at least pay full price for the phone so that I won’t be locked into a new, two-year contract.

  8. @ Monstermac and HD boy, AT&Ts;upgrade path on it’s 3G service will keep it twice as fast as Verizon’s 4G LTE or Sprint’s 4G Wimax for the 2 to 4 years. AT&T;’s 3G HSPDA maxes out at 14.4 MBPS download in order to go higher then they will need to switch to 4G LTE. They will probably do it after they are finished rolling out the 7.2 MBPS HSPDA service to defend against Verizon’s deployment.

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