Communication is about to get much faster in Northeast Ohio. AT&T Ohio is implementing an extensive wireless network upgrade that will enable 4G speeds in new and existing areas, and improve signal strength throughout Cuyahoga and Summit counties. The investments made in the Cleveland and Akron wireless and wireline networks are part of more than $1.4 billion AT&T invested from 2008 to 2010 across Ohio, according to AT&T Ohio president Tom Pelto. Besides offering better service, the upgrades will have a positive impact on area businesses.
The upgrades include enhanced backhaul connections to 239 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and increase traffic capacity; and installing six new cell sites to expand the network coverage area. (4G refers to the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards aimed at advancing broadband capabilities.) Backhaul connections carry traffic between cell sites and the communication provider's nationwide network. Enhanced fiber-optic and Ethernet backhaul connections expand capacity many times over, and enable additional expansion in the years to come, allowing the Northeast Ohio network to grow as needed.
President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Positively Cleveland David Gilbert agrees the widespread coverage of AT&T's mobile broadband network benefits many industries and businesses in Cleveland. "This investment will be a boost to our work to enhance the economy in Northeast Ohio, which will be important to our city's sports fans and visitors' overall experience." Among the company's investments in the region was the deployment of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) network at Cleveland Browns Stadium to enhance network coverage during events.
With the Medical Mart and a growing number of business districts in the area, including new entrepreneurial initiatives in downtown Cleveland and the burgeoning Ohio City Market District, the city stands poised to attract more out of town visitors, as well as more suburbanites. "AT&T's major investment in wireless infrastructure and technology will be critical to drive innovation, job creation and commerce in the greater Cleveland region," says Greater Cleveland Partnership president and CEO Joe Roman. One Cleveland councilman shares Roman's enthusiasm.
"AT&T's investment in Cleveland to improve its network will help strengthen our reputation as a desirable city to live, work and raise a family," says Kevin Kelley, Cleveland City councilman. "A robust telecom infrastructure is important to our residents' quality of life, the local economy and our local businesses."