Upgrades to AT&T towers could improve service on football Saturdays
Dropped calls are expected to be on the decline and mobile Internet speed on the way up on football Saturdays in Ann Arbor for AT&T customers.
The company says upgrades at its seven towers serving the Ann Arbor area will improve mobile Internet and voice connectivity services.
Jermaine Spight, AT&T public relations manager for the area, equated the upgrades to doubling the number of lanes on a highway.
"The goal is that on game days and during the school year, when there's the most people using the network, there will be fewer dropped calls, faster connectivity and uploads and downloads can happen quicker," Spight said.
The network upgrade adds new layers of frequency to the seven cell towers, which Spight said will double the workload each is able to handle.
"Doubling the capacity around the area should certainly have a substantial effect as far as amount of data transfer and speed, and speed of call connectivity," said telecommunications expert Ray Horak.
But doubling the capacity won't necessarily lead to half the number of dropped calls or mobile Internet speeds that are twice as fast. More people having faster connections means they'll use their smart phones more. Plus, on heavy traffic days such as football Saturdays, more capacity still might be needed.
"If you doubled the size of a two-lane highway and what you needed was an eight-lane highway, than it wouldn't do much," said Horak, borrowing Spight's analogy. State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, said the upgrades will be good for the business community.
"Families and entrepreneurs in Ann Arbor will be better connected than ever before thanks to enhanced mobile Internet wireless capacity being deployed today by AT&T," Warren said in a press release. "As a region that has been at the forefront of technological advances and building a new economy in Michigan, these enhancements will ensure that Ann Arbor continues to be a leader in high-tech job creation for years to come."