AT&T Expands 4G LTE Network to Iowa City

By Chelsea Keenan, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City AT&T users will have a faster, more reliable network after the wireless company brought its 4G LTE network to the area.

The 4G LTE wireless network uses spectrum more efficiently than other technologies, creating more space to carry data traffic and services. This increases the speed and capacity for smartphones and tablets.

The launch of Iowa City's 4G LTE network was in conjunction with 27 other cities, including Ames, and is part of the wireless company's Project Velocity IP, a three-year investment plan that started in 2012 to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks.

The company announced the 4G LTE expansion Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Other Iowa cities that already have the more efficient network include the Quad Cities, Des Moines and West Des Moines, which were all upgraded in 2013.

AT&T invested more than $20 million in Iowa's wireless network during the first half of 2013 to bring the 4G LTE network to the state, in both cell site infrastructure and the ethernet and fiber needed to connect the site to its core network. A cell site is a location where the company sets up its infrastructure, such as a water tower or bank building, to broadcast cell service.

As part of the project, AT&T plans to add more than 10,000 macro cell sites nationwide by year-end 2015, as well as deploy more than 40,000 small cell sites and add more than 1,000 Distributed Antenna Systems to increase the density of its wireless network.

There are more than 20 cell sites in the Iowa City/Coralville area.

AT&T is not the only wireless company to bring the 4G LTE network to Iowa. Verizon Wireless expanded its 4G LTE network to Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Mason City, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

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