COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is investing $175 million in its South Carolina network in 2006, bringing customers even more wireless services, call quality and coverage.
The 2006 investment in Cingular's South Carolina network will bring 148 new cell sites, high-speed data services, the addition of portable and permanent generators, and other enhancements to Cingular's ALLOVER(SM) Network, which is the nation's largest all-digital voice and data network.
In 2005, Cingular invested more than $150 million in South Carolina on network improvements. Nationwide, the company spent $6.5 billion on its network and plans to do the same in 2006, bringing its overall investment since the company's 2004 acquisition of AT&T Wireless to more than $13 billion.
"Our ongoing focus is to offer Cingular customers the best wireless experience possible," said Alison Hall, Vice President & General Manager, Cingular Wireless - North and South Carolina. "This network investment will enable us to continue to bring residents of South Carolina the highest quality service available - service that is enhanced by best-in-industry calling plan value and cutting-edge devices."
Network enhancements planned for 2006 in South Carolina include:
- Significant improvements to expand coverage in the Orangeburg area,
along Interstate 26 between Columbia and Charleston
- New sites serving Fort Jackson, near Columbia, and east of Columbia on
Hwys. 76, 48 and 262
- Improved coverage for those traveling on Hwy. 521 to Kershaw and Hwy. 1
to McBee, northeast of Columbia
- Improved coverage for the popular recreation area north of Lake Keowee,
northwest of Greenville along Hwy. 11
- Improved coverage in the heart of Greenville and in central Spartanburg
- New coverage along Hwy. 174 connecting to Edisto IslandSignificantly, Cingular recently launched its third-generation (3G) wireless network technology in 16 major cities, with more to follow across the country, including more than 20 in the Southeast. With 3G, customers will access information and applications at broadband speeds in the office, on the road or at home. The service - via laptop data cards or 3G-compatible phones this year - provides average mobile data connections between 400-700Kbps (kilobits per second) on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.
"Last year, we invested over $1.8 billion in our network and added more than 780 cell sites in the Southeast Region alone - 2006 will be another landmark year for the Southeast and for South Carolina," said Steve Sitton, president, Southeast Region, Cingular Wireless. "Network integration further improves our already stellar coverage and call capacity, while our 3G technology gives our customers a powerful network of broadband speeds and ubiquitous voice and data service."
Cingular diligently monitors the quality and coverage of its network. In addition to third-party vendors who assess the company's network performance, Cingular network engineers constantly monitor the network, driving approximately 20,000 miles per month throughout South Carolina. Cingular also uses third party drive-testing vendors to assess the company's network performance and wireless coverage.
Enhancing the Customer Experience
Thanks to its advanced network, Cingular customers use the best services that wireless can offer. For example, customers can choose from an exciting array of wireless devices including the recently launched Motorola SLVR, Cingular's second handset capable of downloading iTunes directly from a PC. Another of many innovative services available is Cingular Sounds Live, which will utilize the company's on-demand streaming video service, Cingular Video™, so that customers can watch concert highlights on their 3G- compatible wireless phones.
Additionally the company offers an interactive mapping tool at all retail locations and by calling 1-866-CINGULAR. The tool provides customers with up- to-date wireless coverage information and is designed to answer a customer's specific wireless coverage questions based on an address, street intersection, zip code or even a landmark.