AT&T rolls out 4G in Columbus
Nov 19, 2012 (The Columbus Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
AT&T formally rolled out its 4G LTE wireless technology in Columbus and other Ohio markets today, promising smartphone users that they will have faster download speeds than ever.
"In a nutshell, this brings phenomenal flexibility and speed to smartphone users," said AT&T Ohio Vice President Rob Reynolds. "It exceeds the speed that I have in my home."
The rollout represents a significant investment by AT&T in Ohio, the company said.
"In Ohio, we've invested $1.4 billion from 2009 through 2011," Reynolds said. "On average, that works out to $1 million a day for the last three years. And in the first six months of this year, we've spent $212 million."
While not all of the money was spent on 4G LTE, much was.
The 4G LTE technology stands for fourth-generation long-term evolution. The acronym isn't just a slogan, Reynolds said, but an indication that the technology, "is the network for the foreseeable future. We sped through 1G, 2G and 3G."
"Telecommunications has changed dramatically over the years, but at no time has it changed as fast as it has since 2007," Reynolds said. "It's changing the way we communicate. Over the last five years, we've seen a 20,000 percent increase in mobile traffic."
The new service "is up to 10 times the speed of 3G," said Jeff Stalcup, AT&T's southeast Ohio area manager. "Most of us already use email on these devices." But the faster speed will allow easy, quick use of such applications as global positioning and maps, or, "if I'm in an airport, feeling bored, I can watch a movie on my smartphone."
Beyond personal use, the 4G LTE rollout is important to businesses as well, Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer said. Not only does the rollout keep AT&T competitive with such rivals as Verizon, which began introducing its 4G service in parts of the Columbus area two years ago, "developing this infrastructure is directly related to jobs," Fischer said.
"These investments keep us competitive in the global economy," Fischer said. "Waterways, railways and roadways were the infrastructure of the past," Fischer said. "Broadband wireless is the infrastructure of the future. The difference between today and the past is the speed that this new infrastructure is developing."
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