ATLANTA, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — SouthernLINC Wireless, a Southern Company (NYSE: SO), has announced plans to offer mission critical 4G LTE Advanced data services to Southern Company utilities and to local businesses and government in the utilities’ service territories. The first highly reliable, fixed data service offerings will be available in Atlanta, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa in mid-2016.
SouthernLINC is constructing a new 4G LTE Advanced network to meet the growing mission-critical data needs of its largest customer, Southern Company’s electric utilities. The highly reliable network will have the capacity to serve the most crucial data needs of area businesses and local government as well. The new 4G LTE Advanced network will offer network encryption over the air and from SouthernLINC’s towers to the network’s core data centers; this level of security is not commonly offered by wireless carriers. In addition, the company is beefing up emergency backup power capabilities with hydrogen fuel cell technology at key locations and is adding main power and core data center redundancy to increase the reliability of the new network.
Tami Barron, SouthernLINC Wireless president and CEO, commented, “Our new 4G LTE Advanced network will take LINC’s history of reliability to a new level. Now, businesses and local government in our service area will have the opportunity to transmit vital data across our new high-speed, highly reliable and encrypted LTE network.” She continued, “As companies and jurisdictions look for ways to transmit data as securely as possible, our LTE network will be a great option for them.”
Construction is underway for the first phase of network deployment which will bring fixed data services to metro Atlanta, the I-20 corridor from Atlanta to Birmingham, and to Tuscaloosa County in mid-2016. Ericsson is providing the radio access network and evolved packet cores and Cisco is providing the multi-protocol label switching equipment. In 2017, LTE data services will expand to the greater Montgomery area and across all of Georgia Power’s service territory. In 2018, LTE data services will be available in all service territories of Southern Company’s electric utilities.
Together with the 4G LTE Advanced network project, SouthernLINC Wireless continues to invest in its existing iDEN wireless network. This network delivers the original, standard-setting Push To Talk 2-way and group radio, cellular and packet data services chosen by Southern Company utilities, area first responders and regional businesses. The company is on track to spend more than a million dollars this year to enhance iDEN coverage and to safeguard the network performance levels that customers have come to expect.