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AT&T announces network upgrades for P.R. operation

(Photo Credit: Carlos Anguita)

AT&T de Puerto Rico on Tuesday announced plans to beef up its local wireless network, adding cell sites and technology to enable fourth-generation transmission speeds. However, in an unusual twist to its announcement, the company withheld associated investment figures.

Nevertheless, the island’s largest wireless carrier said its plans call for installing and optimizing about 800 antennas at approximately 400 cell sites islandwide to enhance voice quality, reduce dropped calls and deliver more efficient, consistent mobile broadband speeds to its nearly 1 million customers in Puerto Rico.

AT&T is also positioning its network to deliver faster wireless broadband speeds, known as 4G, already available on the island through competitor T-Mobile. To achieve that, AT&T will add new layers of frequency to more than 400 cell towers to be able to manage its spectrum better.

It is also adding more than 40 new cell sites throughout the island and a distributed antenna systems in high-traffic areas — such as office buildings and event venues — to improve indoor signal reception.

“The nation’s fastest mobile broadband network is getting even faster with 4G,” said José Juan Dávila, vice president of AT&T Mobility Puerto Rico. “AT&T is deploying fiber-optic connections between existing cell sites and AT&T’s nationwide network to enable 4G speeds to hundreds of additional cell sites in Puerto Rico this year.”

This year’s plans are a continuation of work done over the last three years, when it invested nearly $225 million to upgrade its wireless and wireline networks. The publicly-traded company cited Securities and Exchange Commissions rules for not releasing its current investment plans.

AT&T is one of five wireless carriers disputing the local wireless market, competing against T-Mobile, Claro, Open Mobile and Sprint PCS. There are more than 2.7 million wireless subscribers in Puerto Rico.

See related story: http://bit.ly/h5IssX

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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