AT&T Introduced new iPhone App Adding the Power of Crowdsourcing to Network Enhancement Initiatives

As part of its ongoing commitment to delivering the best possible wireless experience, AT&T today announced the launch of AT&T Mark the Spot, an iPhone app that enables customers to quickly and easily provide feedback on AT&T network performance in a specific location.

As reported when AT&T released 3Q financial results in October, drive tests conducted by an outside firm show that AT&T has reduced 3G dropped calls by 12 percent over the past year, nearing a dropped call rate of 1 percent nationally, while also delivering the nation’s fastest 3G speeds. With plans to invest between $17 and $18 billion this year billions of which is dedicated to its wireless network these metrics demonstrate that AT&T’s investments are paying off.

The new AT&T Mark the Spot app will add to AT&T’s existing network performance data to further fine-tune network investment planning and prioritization moving forward. The app, available today as a free download via the iTunes App Store, enables users to provide valuable feedback with as little as two button clicks. When a network service issue is encountered, the customer can simply press a button to indicate the nature of the situation, and add notes to describe the situation if desired. From there, the app automatically notes the location, time of day and type of device used, and the report is sent directly to AT&T’s network planning team.

“With AT&T Mark the Spot, we’re applying the power of crowdsourcing to our ongoing efforts to enhance and expand our network,” said AT&T Chief Technology Officer John Donovan. “Feedback from customers via AT&T Mark the Spot, combined with data from more than 964,000 miles of drive testing conducted by an independent third-party source, will enable us to most quickly and effectively identify trends and maximize the impact of our ongoing network investment. We encourage all customers to download and use the app.”

AT&T Mark the Spot was developed earlier this year, and has been used by AT&T employees for the past several months. AT&T plans to launch versions of the AT&T Mark the Spot app for additional smartphone devices in the coming months. More than twice the number of smartphone customers have chosen AT&T over its nearest competitor, and this has resulted in smartphone network traffic that has increased 5,000 percent over the past three years.

To stay ahead of this unprecedented growth, AT&T is investing billions of dollars in its wireless network this year. Network enhancements include initiatives to improve the speed, capacity and coverage of AT&T’s wireless network, already the nation’s fastest 3G network:

  • We are nearly doubling the wireless spectrum serving 3G customers in hundreds of markets across the country, using high-quality 850 MHz spectrum. This additional spectrum expands overall network capacity and improves in-building reception.
  • We are adding about 2,000 new cell sites to our network in 2009, expanding service to new cities and improving coverage in other areas.
  • We’re adding about 100,000 new backhaul connections, which add critical capacity between cell sites and the global IP backbone network.
  • We’re enabling widespread access to our Wi-Fi network – the largest in the country with more than 20,000 hotspots in all 50 states – allowing customers to take advantage of the best available AT&T mobile broadband connection.
  • We’re rolling out even faster 3G speeds with deployment of HSPA 7.2 technology, with availability in six markets planned by the end of the year. We are preparing for field trials of next generation, LTE wireless networks next year, with deployment planning to begin in 2011. This schedule aligns with industry expectations for when a wide variety of compatible 4G wireless devices should be available.

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