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AT&T completes 700+ network upgrades in P.R. for better access to mobile internet

AT&T completed more than 700 upgrades to its wireless network in Puerto Rico from January through August, to provide better reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for customers and FirstNet subscribers, the carrier confirmed.

From 2016 to 2018, AT&T invested nearly $350 million in its Puerto Rico wireless and wired networks, the carrier said.

The enhancements include:

  • 300+ capacity upgrades to cell sites to accommodate more network traffic;
  • Bandwidth expansion to 200+ cell sites for better speeds and throughput;
  • A new distributed antenna system (DAS) at a beach resort in Río Grande; and,
  • Five new cell sites in Adjuntas, Ciales, Coamo, Loiza and Villalba.

The new cell sites are boosting coverage:

  • Along Routes 123 and 10 in Adjuntas;
  • South of Ciales along Route 14;
  • Along Route 138, 704 and 702 and in the Palmarejo community of Coamo;
  • Near the border of Villalba and Orocovis, along Routes 143 and 151 in Villalba; and,
  • Along Route 187 in the Mediania area of Loíza.

These upgrades come on the heels of the carrier’s launch of 5G Evolution in parts of Puerto Rico in late 2018. 5G Evolution is ATT’s first step on the road to 5G. The company is starting by enabling faster speeds on its existing LTE network, which it said is up to 2X faster than standard LTE. 

“We want our customers to have a great experience. With 4G LTE service, they’ll be able to experience better network connectivity while streaming videos, sharing on social media or texting family and friends,” said Alexandra Verdiales-Costa, AT&T regional vice president.

“We’re always working to provide better coverage for the community and its first responders. And we’re investing in our wireless network to accomplish that,” she said.

These upgrades also bring FirstNet Band 14 spectrum to the area. Band 14 is high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. Its signal covers larger geographic areas with less infrastructure to better support rural communities, and it can better penetrate buildings and walls in more urban areas as compared to higher-MHz spectrum.

When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can use Band 14’s added coverage and capacity. 

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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