Who’s investing more heavily in their wireless network in Connecticut — AT&T or Verizon?
It’s a war. AT&T says it poured $750 million into networks in this state over the last three years, a rate that’s been consistent for several years. This includes “expansion of our super-fast 4G LTE network,” the company said.
“Just today, AT&T completed an expansion of its 4G LTE network to more towns in Hartford County,” AT&T said in a recent release.
Verizon recently announced a $256 million upgrade to its wireless network throughout New England in 2012, including 4G LTE service on the Connecticut shoreline, and added cell sites in 16 towns in this state.
Ah, that’s the same amount in New England that AT&T spent in Connecticut, so AT&T is the leader, right? Not so fast, Verizon counters. Its investment is all wireless, while AT&T’s numbers also include wireline spending, on the company’s vast, house-to-house network of landlines. Remember those?
No one is breaking down wireless spending in Connecticut by year.
AT&T claims to have the largest and fastest 4G network and Verizon claims to have the best, having won the J.D. Power top award for New England in 2012. But if you’re a customer in, say, Newington with a very specific footprint, those claims might mean nothing to you. And soon enough, both companies will have us fully covered with the latest 4G service and they’ll be crowing about 5G.
The market will continue to decide, and for now, the companies are close to even nationally — with neither one giving out customer figures for Connecticut. It’s great that they’re continuing to spend money here, and in fact, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center released a report this year showing that AT&T has spent $21 billion in Connecticut over the last five years, including salaries, purchased goods and services, taxes and all operations.
That’s uplifting, but what I want to know is how much are we paying to both companies collectively for all this telecom largesse? And is Connecticut a net exporter or importer of telecom profits? Those numbers are slower in coming.
And another thing: What about my old-fashioned 3G service, which both companies happen to still sell. I’ve noticed it’s getting a lot slower lately. Could it be that they’re not supporting 3G, in the hopes of pulling expensive upgrades out of us laggards who bought service waaaaay back in mid-2o12?