Texas-based AT&T Tuesday announced it has invested more than $1.3 billion in its wireless and wired networks from 2015-2017 in Michigan. Of this, nearly $650 million went to networks in metro Detroit.
The wireless carrier says the investment boosted reliability, coverage, speed, and overall performance. The company also is building out its 4G LTE network to lay the foundation for 5G, or the next generation of wireless service.
“Our customers expect to have access at any moment, from almost any device — almost anywhere,” says David C. Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan. “And we’re investing heavily to deliver faster, more reliable, highly secure connectivity in order to meet — and exceed — those expectations for residents throughout the state.”
In 2017, AT&T made nearly 1,000 wireless network upgrades in Michigan, more than 350 of which were in the Detroit area. Upgrades included adding new cell sites, additional network capacity, and new wireless high-speed internet connections.
“For Michigan to continue to thrive and attract new jobs and innovation, sustained investment by the private sector is crucial,” says Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan AgriBusiness Association. “By continuing to build state-of-the-art infrastructure across our state – both in our urban centers and rural communities — AT&T is making business growth possible and ensuring that our residents have the tools to stay connected and entertained.”
Michigan network enhancements in 2017 included antenna upgrades at Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and the GM Renaissance Center. New site builds took place in Adrian, Roscommon, Sault Ste. Marie, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, and Grand Blanc, while Van Buren, Muskegon, East Lansing, Portage, Holland and Colon saw capacity upgrades.
In turn, bandwidth expansions were made available in Sanilac County, Tuscola County, Roosevelt Park, Battle Creek, Auburn Hills, and Birmingham.
Other regional enhancements in 2017 included new cell towers in Pontiac and Detroit; bandwidth expansion on about 250 sites, including Brighton, Detroit, Canton, Madison Heights, Plymouth, and Eastpoint; and capacity upgrades on more than 100 locations, including Grosse Pointe, Warren, Detroit, Dearborn, Livonia, Farmington Hills, Belleville, Royal Oak, Franklin, and Southfield.
AT&T also formed FirstNet a little over a year ago, a nationwide communication platform dedicated to America’s public safety community. Governors from all 50 states, five territories, and Washington, D.C. joined FirstNet.
AT&T Fiber is marketed to more than 225,000 customer locations in Michigan, and AT&T has the largest fiber network within its 21-state wireline footprint. The company is the largest U.S.-based provider of fiber for business services and markets a 1 gigabit connection on its 100 percent fiber network to 9 million locations across 71 major metro areas nationwide. It plans to reach at least 14 million locations across at least 84 metro areas by mid-2019.