AT&T officials, Perkins Township officials, Sandusky officials and state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, were on hand for the announcement, made Friday at an AT&T retailer in Perkins Township.
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Dennis Hellmann, director of external affairs for AT&T, said the investment represents 10 times faster mobile Internet speeds, quicker downloads and better reliability.
AT&T spent $1.5 billion in expanding its market into 4G during the past three years, said Adam Grzybicki, president of AT&T Ohio.
“Since 2007 data use has increased 30,000 percent,” Grzybicki said.
Grzybicki said AT&T will invest about $20 billion more before the company’s rollout is complete.
Sandusky is one of at least 50 other cities AT&T will add by the end of the year. At this point, AT&T 4G LTE network serves more than 225 million people in 370 markets. AT&T officials expect to reach 300 million by the end of 2014.
The former Ma Bell has been expanding its networks but it still lags behind Verizon, which launched 4G in the Sandusky area back in May 2012. Verizon completed its 4G rollout back in June in more than 500 markets.
Grzybicki admits AT&T has been behind the game, but said the way it has approached developing the network from 2G to 3G to 4G in layers is smart.
“The strength of our network is the goal. It is a better experience for our customer,” he said.
Redfern said AT&T’s commitment is a great partnership.
“The investment this global company continues to make is incredibly important,” Redfern said.
It is vital that communities have access to latest communication technology to compete in the business world of a global economy, he said.