AT&T looks to invest in Minnesota for small cell networks, praises new law

AT&T has praised Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for signing into law a new measure to streamline and standardise rules that will accelerate the deployment of small cell technology. The measure will help pave the way for the next generation of high-speed wireless services in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, especially as the company enhances its network in preparation for the 2018 SuperBowl.

Small cell technology is an important building block for 5G. These small cells are basically shoebox-sized antennas that can be affixed to existing structures such as traffic signals, buildings and street lights. They will enable faster wireless Internet speeds, provide more and targeted network capacity for things like streaming movies or music, and lay the foundation for technologies of the future – such as 5G, smart cities and connected cars and devices.

In order to prepare for the SuperBowl and to enhance its overall network, AT&T is planning to add capacity to numerous existing macro sites and to submit hundreds of applications for city permits for small cells in the Twin Cities.

Senator David Osmek, said: "With this new law, Minnesota now has forward-looking rules that maintain the local control permitting process and will also allow for the acceleration of the deployment of next-generation high speed wireless infrastructure in the state.  5G is the wave of the future and we want to make sure Minnesota is at the forefront of emerging technologies."

The company had already invested nearly $350 million in the state’s wireless and wired networks during 2014-2016. In 2016, AT&T made over 1,350 wireless network upgrades in Minnesota, which include the addition of new cell sites as well as adding network capacity to existing cell sites.

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