AT&T has announced details of the company’s network expansion plans for the year. Highlights include deploying 3G wireless broadband service to more than 80 additional cities in the U.S. AT&T hopes to deliver 3G services to roughly 350 U.S. markets by the end of the year, including the top 100 U.S. cities. As part of this plan the carrier said it will roll out of more than 1,500 additional cell sites nationwide.
AT&T also said it has plans to complete the country’s first HSUPA-enabled network halfway through this year.
“Fast wireless broadband is the foundation for a whole range of new and emerging applications that our customers are adopting, including everything from social networking to sending live video and large business files,” Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T’s wireless unit, said in a statement. And the carrier is expanding its 3G network, “We’re also planning for the future by establishing a clear path to a 4G network that will meet the needs of our customers for years to come,” de la Vega continued.
AT&T says its efforts to transition its network to HSPA standards, makes it the first carrier in the U.S. to do so. The telecom giant also said its evolution toward HSPA+ and LTE technologies will aide it in providing faster wireless data service going forward.
The carrier has also hired the Discovery Channel’s former Vice President of Media Planning and Partnerships Chris Schembri, to fill a new role as vice president of Media Services. Schembri will oversee the AT&T’s $3.3 billion annual media budget.
At the Discovery Channel, Schembri headed a number of innovative marketing pushes especially around use of mobile devices.