GAYLORD (WWJ) — AT&T Inc. Tuesday announced the availability of its mobile Internet service to more than 50 communities across northern Lower Michigan, the eastern Upper Peninsula and the Thumb, extending access for advanced mobile services, devices and applications to customers in the area.

Among the affected areas are Gaylord, Sandusky, Unionville, Munising, Pigeon and Beaverton, as well as I-75 in Cheboygan County.

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Among the other counties that will see improved service are Chippewa, Clare, Huron, Iosco, Mackinac, Midland and Saginaw, as service was added to 120 new cell sites.

This upgrade is part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP, a three-year investment plan announced last fall to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. Through this investment, AT&T is supporting its customers’ growing desire for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud-based services.
As part of Project VIP, AT&T plans to add more than 10,000 macro cell sites nationwide by year-end 2015, as well as deploy more than 40,000 small cells and add more than 1,000 Distributed Antenna Systems to increase the density of its wireless network.

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“AT&T has invested $275 million in its Michigan wireless and wired networks in the first half of 2013 alone, so these network enhancements in Northern Michigan are just the latest examples of AT&T’s significant infrastructure investment,” said Jim Murray, president, AT&T Michigan.

AT&T also claims the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, including more than 32,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers across the country, and provides access to more than 402,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. Most AT&T smartphone customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly wireless data plans.

Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into its wireless and wireline networks across the country. Since 2008, AT&T has invested more capital into the U.S. economy than any other public company. In a July 2012 report, the Progressive Policy Institute ranked AT&T No. 1 on its list of U.S. “Investment Heroes.”

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For more information about AT&T’s coverage in Northern Michigan or anywhere in the United States, consumers can visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer.