From AT&T Wireless’ press release:
AT&T Wireless today announced an aggressive new national flagship offer, AT&T Wireless GSM America, which eliminates roaming charges for many customers.
The new offer is made possible by the company’s doubling of its national GSM coverage area in the last year and by significant quality improvements in its GSM network, AT&T Wireless said.
“Today’s announcement is all about our customers and how they will benefit from the positive changes we have made,” said Michael Keith, president of the company’s mobility operations. “During the last 12 months, we have added or improved 15,000 cell sites, including those added through roaming agreements in major cities with Cingular Wireless and other GSM carriers. We have more than doubled our national GSM coverage area so that it is now approximately 1.2 million square miles in the United States. Customers can now use AT&T Wireless GSM services in more places than ever before.”
AT&T Wireless customers who enroll in the new national plan, GSM America, as well as those already on one of the company’s qualifying national GSM plans, automatically get the benefit of paying no roaming charges anywhere in the United States. “When they place calls and use wireless data services, these customers no longer have to worry about roaming charges, which are one of our industry’s biggest dissatisfiers,” Keith said.
“Not having to pay roaming charges is great news not only for consumers but for business customers, whose mobile professionals need to use wireless data applications anywhere their work takes them,” Keith said. “Now they can do so from more places at lower cost.
“In addition to expanding its reach, we continue to aggressively improve the quality our GSM network. In many major markets, we have installed hardware and software that significantly improves our customers’ wireless calling experience,” Keith said. The new hardware and software lets callers with compatible GSM/GPRS devices use the 850-megahertz band of the radio spectrum, which generates a stronger signal than the 1900-megahertz band, travels over larger areas, and penetrates walls better, the company noted.
Overall, these network enhancements will improve call quality in dozens of major cities across the nation. As a result of this upgrade, signal strength has doubled in many places and voice quality has dramatically improved, even in buildings, the company noted.
To enable customers to take full advantage of the larger GSM service area and improved network quality, AT&T Wireless said that all new devices it introduces this year will be 850-compatible, including the latest Motorola V600 camera phone, which comes with Bluetooth, a vivid color screen, access to AT&T Wireless mMode