RIDGELAND, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cellular South, the largest privately held wireless communications provider in the U.S. with the highest smartphone penetration rate in the nation, is continuing an unprecedented $90 million network expansion as it readies plans to introduce 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution) high-speed mobile broadband services.
The improvements, which include significant boosts in network capacity, the addition of new and upgraded cell sites, the installation of thousands of strand miles of fiber optic cable and hundreds of enhanced backhaul connections, are designed to meet the growing demand by consumers and businesses for faster data speeds and more robust services.
“Our industry-leading smartphone penetration rate is driving an explosive demand for mobile data services. These network enhancements will pave the way for the deployment of our 4G LTE network, which allows us to offer even faster speeds and deliver voice and data services with exceptional reliability and performance,” said Kevin Hankins, chief operating officer for Cellular South.
Among the network improvements the company has completed through the end of July:
- Expanded network capacity by installing 110 spectrum carriers at 110 cell sites in 20 counties serving central and south Mississippi, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Delta
- Installed enhanced backhaul connections at 300 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and to boost capacity and handle more mobile traffic
- Activated 20 new cell sites to expand coverage and network quality for wireless voice and data communications
- Placed over 14,000 strand miles of single mode fiber optics to boost capacity, data transmission and network redundancy through an agreement with Jackson-based Telepak Networks, Inc., a full service provider of transport, Internet, telecommunications and network services
- Added mobile broadband high speed data services on the Interstate 55 south corridor linking Jackson to Brookhaven, including Hazlehurst and Crystal Springs
- Hankins said the company plans to continue its network expansion activities for the remainder of 2011, including:
• Enhanced network capacity by installing 285 spectrum carriers at 258 cell sites serving 42 counties in other parts of its service area in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama
- Installation of enhanced backhaul capacity at 308 cell sites to enable 4G speeds and to boost capacity and handle more mobile traffic
- Activation of 51 new cell sites to expand coverage and network quality for wireless voice and data communications
- Capacity boosts at major colleges this fall, including up to 150 percent capacity increases on the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Mississippi State University (MSU) and University of Southern Mississippi (USM) campuses and expanded coverage at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, the home of Jackson State University football
- Placement of 32,400 strand miles of single mode fiber optics to boost capacity, data transmission and network redundancy through an agreement with Telepak Networks, Inc.
- Addition of mobile broadband high speed data services for several areas in Mississippi, including Magee, Newton, Decatur, Union, Booneville and Baldwyn
- Completion of an extensive, network-wide core and switching systems infrastructure capacity upgrade project with Alcatel-Lucent, one of the most experienced global network technology providers in the world
“Our efforts have moved into hyper-drive as we continue to deliver a first-class mobile broadband experience for our customers,” Hankins said. “Our aggressive approach is driven by our commitment to create a superior wireless experience that gives consumers and businesses unmatched connectivity and mobility and the ability to communicate in new and innovative ways.”
Hankins said Cellular South network teams and technicians are spending thousands of hours updating the network for improved voice and data services. “Our customers have always known that we provide a superior network experience. Wireless networks are all about coverage, quality and speed, and the Cellular South network cannot be beat. Our network expansion shows that we are taking the necessary steps to ready our network for 4G LTE and we are serious about continuing to be the best provider of smartphone and mobile broadband services,” he added.
As part of the network upgrades and expansion, Cellular South has standardized all of its packet-based network services for wireless Ethernet backhaul and advanced IP services in Mississippi with Alcatel-Lucent.
“Alcatel-Lucent includes Bell Labs, one of the world’s foremost centers of research and innovation in the communications industry,” Hankins said. “We’re partnering with one of the industry leaders with an outstanding reputation for quality, reliable and flexible IP-based backhaul services.”
For more information about Cellular South’s network enhancements, go to www.cellularsouth.com.