Ivan Natividad

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April 17, 2014
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AT&T expands network in Grass Valley area

AT&T has expanded its 4G LTE network into the Grass Valley area.

The network will also be available in Truckee, is said to be a step up from the previous 3G network and will bring customers the latest generation of wireless network technology. AT&T launched 4G LTE in Reno Dec. 13, 2012, and the expanded coverage is part of its ongoing rollout across the market.

“We’ve seen positive response from customers on our 4G LTE launch, and as today’s expansion shows, we’re continuing our rollout of fast 4G LTE speeds to more areas,” AT&T Vice President and General Manager for Northern California and Northern Nevada Terry Stenzel said.

According to AT&T, the 4G LTE network will give carriers technology capable of delivering mobile Internet speeds up to 10 times faster than the previous 3G network. The new network will also be more reliable, and based on the company’s data analysis, it will have the highest success rate for delivering mobile content across nationwide 4G LTE networks.

AT&T is also offering new LTE-compatible devices, including new AT&T 4G LTE smart phones and tablets. The network will also provide a faster processing time for data to move through a network, such as how long it takes to start downloading a Web page or file once you’ve sent the request. Mobile gaming, two-way video calling and telemedicine services will also have a faster response time on devices used in the 4G LTE network.

The expansion is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP), a three-year investment plan announced in fall 2012 to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. Through this investment, AT&T is supporting its customers’ growing desire for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud-based services, as part of Project VIP.

Adam Brodel, owner of SmarterBroadband, a Grass Valley company that provides wireless internet connection to western Nevada County, told The Union that he has heard about AT&T’s 4G LTE network expansion but that it seems to be just focused on connection speed, not coverage.

“I don’t think they’re really increasing coverage. I think they’re just swapping the equipment so the same coverage has LTE, like a capacity upgrade,” Brodel said.

“I don’t think it will improve connection for people who can’t get the connection currently. I don’t think it’s going to improve their coverage map, but it will improve the speed of connection for people, but again, you need the right equipment to do that because the older equipment doesn’t have LTE built in.”

Brodel added that he doesn’t see the network expansion as competition for his company because it’s purely mobile based.

“We have customers that have AT&T phones, but they tend to use us at home because they can do a lot more with our service,” Brodel said. “So generally the coverage will be very useful for people who travel a lot and just want to use their phone. But if you really want internet at home, it’s not a great solution because you can’t do very much with it.”

Alex Carey, a spokesperson with AT&T’s California regional office, told The Union that the 4G LTE network expansion into Grass Valley will create stronger service for phone carriers in the area due to the upgrade, and that the construction of new cell sites is not out of the question.

“The new, expanded network will cover a majority, if not all, of the Grass Valley area, and we have built the new 4G LTE technology into the existing cell sites,” Carey said. “While we are not currently building new cell sites in the Grass Valley area, we are always actively looking to build more sites in areas that need more sites for our customers.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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The Union Updated Apr 18, 2014 10:37AM Published Apr 17, 2014 11:54PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.