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AT&T 3G upgrade delayed

The end of summer – AT&T’s target date for rolling out 3G connectivity in Marengo County – is upon us. Unfortunately, the advancement in cell phone technology is not.

In April, AT&T announced Network construction and upgrades along U.S. highways 43 and 80 that would bring AT&T’s 3G wireless network to Marengo County.

The company currently has upwards of 14 new cites planned for construction in the area with even more upgrades to existing cites that service the county and its communities.

The original target date for this expansion was the third quarter of 2010, which ended Sept. 30. Originally, 3G technology was to come on-line along Highway 80 by the end of summer and be available county-wide by the end of the calendar year.

The official end of summer was Sept. 22 and despite persistent delays since the announcement, AT&T spokesperson Sue Sperry said the company still anticipated a roll out of the service to come in this calendar year.

“Adding 3G and new towers to the Demopolis area is part of our 2010 expansion plan,” she said. “We are still on track to finish the work this year. It is a lengthy process. “

3G technology is the third generation of wireless technologies. It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming. 3G is mostly used with mobile phones and handsets as a means to connect the phone to the Internet or other IP networks in order to make voice and video calls, to download and upload data and to surf the Internet.

Sperry said delays by the Federal Communications Commission in handling merger details pertaining to Verizon customer divesture prolonged the process as did “equipment delays from key suppliers.”

The local upgrade and network expansion was a handful of 75 new sites and more than 250 planned statewide.