AT&T will likely miss March 3G target date

Published 8:33 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

Customers of AT&T who have been waiting for 3G service since a formal announcement was made last spring should continue to wait.

While work continues to have the service available by AT&T’s March 31 target date, Mike Barger, Managing Supervisor of Fleishman-Hillard for AT&T Corporate Communications, said it’s likely to be late.

“We have two clusters of cell sites we’re working on in Marengo County. There are six cell sites in each cluster. Once complete, Demopolis and the surrounding areas will have 3G,” he said. “Will it be done by the end of March? We’d anticipated that being the case, but likely not.”

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In one of the clusters, Barger said crews have completed construction on four of the six cell sites but are still working on the two others.

“So why not just launch the four that are complete,” he pondered. “We have to turn up these sites in a cluster. Turning up just four of the six would cause interference issues and overall poor service.”

Construction of other clusters have been completed but lack other key components.

“In the second cluster, all of the six cell sites are complete ñ which means, from the construction perspective, they’re done,” Barger said. “That said, two of them are lacking T1’s. This is the communication between the cell tower and the switch on the ground. And again, we can’t launch the cluster without those two cell sites being online.”

AT&T announced in April 2010 they anticipated to rollout 3G connectivity by late summer 2010. That deadline has been changed twice since then and, as for how long the process may take from here, Barger said he couldn’t offer a new timeline.

“We’re working as quickly as we can to bring 3G to not only Marengo County, but to all of Alabama.”