CHAMPAIGN – Customers with AT&T mobile phone service may have noticed increased availability of 3G service in the Champaign-Urbana area in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, the company formally announced that 3G technology has been activated on 28 cell sites in Champaign, DeWitt, Piatt and McLean counties.
Communities with enhanced coverage include Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Cisco, Farmer City, LeRoy, Mahomet, Monticello, Tolono and White Heath.
AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network is based on the Third Generation Partnership Project family of technologies. The network enhances capabilities for "smart" phones – phones with e-mail and Internet capabilities – and other mobile broadband devices.
The 3G network has much higher data transmission rates than previous generations of technology, and is capable of handling speech and data simultaneously.
Recently, AT&T announced plans to further upgrade its 3G network nationwide with technology that will deliver faster mobile broadband speeds. The upgrades are planned to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with completion expected in 2011.
AT&T's 3G network is available in more than 350 major metropolitan areas. In Illinois, that includes the cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Rockford, Bloomington and Springfield.
Areas still without 3G coverage, according to AT&T maps, include Peoria, Decatur and Danville.
For a visual overview of areas served – and not served – by AT&T's 3G network, check the Web site www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/.