DETROIT (WWJ) – On Thursday, AT&T announced its plans for a multi-billion dollar capital project that includes bringing 4G speeds and enhanced reliability to Detroit.

AT&T plans to install 50 new cell sites, upgrade 15 established cell sites and add capacity to more than 300 cell sites in an effort to improve network coverage and increase mobile broadband.

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AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray said this new venture will not only help wireless customers, but it’s also designed to boost the state’s ailing economy.

“You know, listening to Governor Snyder and Mayor Bing today, in order to attract jobs and to help Southeast Michigan, there needs to be a world-class communications service in Detroit,” said Murray.

Senior Director of Business Development at Automation Alley, Charles A. DeVries agrees, stating that AT&T’s commitment to its mobile broadband network will benefit job makers across the region.

“AT&T’s planned investment means job makers in Detroit and across the region will be able to quickly and reliably connect with one another and the rest of the world and that creates an environment where job makers from around the globe can come and succeed,” DeVries said in a release.

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N. Charles Anderson, President and CEO of the Detroit Urban League, said AT&T’s significant investment to improve its network will bolster Detroit’s reputation as a great place to live and work.

“This is the kind of investment that we need for Detroit,” Anderson said.  “The people are looking to come to a community like Detroit or come to an area like the Southeast Michigan region. They need to make sure that all of the tools and infrastructures (are) in place and we’re appreciative of the work that AT&T is doing.”

The $19-billion investment also includes adding spectrum to more cell sites in Detroit, which Murray explained is like adding another lane to the highway to allow more room for traffic.           

“AT&T is consistently among the top companies in the U.S. in terms of our capital investments and we’re committed to helping our customers right here in Detroit take advantage of the numerous capabilities of their wireless devices,” said Murray.

AT&T spokeswoman Laura Connor said 4G users in areas where the service has been installed are seeing data download speeds of about 6 megabits per second.

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For more information about AT&T’s coverage in Detroit or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. Using the online tool, you can measure coverage quality from a street address, intersection, ZIP code or even a landmark.