AT&T: 3G network still coming

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting a cell phone call to connect on the AT&T network may be like trying to get onto a crowded freeway — for now.

Mike Barger, a representative for AT&T, said the frustrations being experienced by many cellular customers in the Brewton area will hopefully soon come to an end.

“We have some equipment issues that we are working to correct,” Barger said. “We are working to get mobile broadband/3G going in the Brewton area as quickly as possible. Anytime a network is upgraded, the edge (2G) network suffers. We have to borrow from the spectrum to get the 3G network running. With increased voice and data traffic, the system can become overloaded.”

Barger said with the introduction of a 3G network where none had been previously comes many issues that must be addressed.

“Anytime you bring 3G to an area that doesn’t already have it in place takes time and work,” Barger said. “The time frame is two to three weeks up to a month to get the network optimized, barring any complications.”

Complications have delayed the enhanced 3G network for the Brewton area, Barger said.

“We know the issues customers have been facing is frustrating,” Barger said. “It’s frustrating for everyone. We had a similar situation in Talladega when the 3G network was put into place there. We realized there were hardware

issues that needed to be addressed before we can make the upgrade to 3G. We are experiencing those same issues in the Brewton area and we are working hard to get those issues resolved as quickly as possible.”

Barger said as workers began preparing for the upgrade to 3G some equipment issues were discovered.

“When the work to upgrade began we discovered some equipment issues on one of the cell sites that serve the area,” Barger said. “We have had increased traffic of voice and date on the other sites that served the area and they

are becoming overloaded. We are working on those hardware issues and hope to have them resolved as soon as possible.”

Barger also said business and residence customers can also see some improvement in coverage during the coming weeks.

“We are working on enhancing the network for businesses and residences in the area,” Barger said. “ Once the 3G network is optimized, everyone will see faster speeds and improved network performance on devices.”

Barger said the introduction of the 3G network has been in the works for Brewton area customers and a completion date is coming.

“We are working as quickly as we can to correct the problems,” Barger said. “We hope to have 3G in place by the end of the month, barring any setbacks. We hope to have the other issues addressed before then.”

Barger said hardware and software work is being done by engineers already in place in the area.

“Our engineers are there and they are aware of the issues,” Barger said. “Everyone is working to resolve those issues as quickly as possible.”