AT&T held a press event today to call out the big investments it has been making in its wireless network and business operations in the Seattle area, where the company’s wireless business originated.
Over the past two years AT&T spent more than $200 million in its Seattle-area network and $1.3 billion in Washington state.
The company wouldn’t specify upcoming local investments, but it will apparently spend at least that much again in the next couple of years as it builds capacity for the flood of data traffic from smartphones and mobile devices. Nationally it’s spending $19 billion this year on capital projects, including the rollout of an LTE network, which will reach the Seattle area in 2013.
“We’re continuing to expand America’s fastest mobile broadband network,” said Mike Maxwell, vice president and general manager for the Northwest. “Our level of investment will continue.”
This year the company will boost backhaul connections to two-thirds of its Seattle-area cell sites to boost speeds. It’s also adding new capacity to more than 400 cell sites and additional antenna systems in crowded areas such as stadiums and office buildings.
AT&T employs more than 4,500 people in the state. Its regional headquarters are in Redmond and the largest of its three national data centers in Bothell.
While AT&T was talking up its investments in the region, its nemesis, Verizon Wireless, announced that it was the top-ranked wireless provider in the Northwest in a new J.D. Power and Associates wireless call quality survey.
The survey of 27,250 wireless customers was done between July and December.