AT&T users now have 3G in Ruston

November 4, 2010

by Amber Guyotte, Staff Reporter

After a year of no luck with equipment testing, cell phone service improved Friday night for AT&T customers with 3G capability.

The bulk of the Ruston population area now has 3G service potential. The company has been trying to provide coverage in Ruston for a year, but the equipment kept malfunctioning.

According to an AT&T service representative, the company is working toward expanding the coverage to all of Ruston, but the groups of equipment have to be slowly upgraded and tested. Then, coverage should reach all of Ruston. Other nearby population areas should gradually gain coverage over the course of about a year.

In order to upgrade the service towers to 3G, pieces of the Edge network, the standard third generation of mobile telecommunication service, were removed and gradually replaced with more 3G equipment. The equipment had to pass certain testing to work properly. Some of the Edge equipment had to remain on the towers to provide cell phone coverage while the 3G equipment was being installed and tested.

Isma Shahien, a sophomore business major, said the 3G coverage allows her iPhone 3G to live up to its name.

“It’s about time [AT&T] has some coverage here more than Edge,” Shahien said. “It’s easier to use, and you can take the Internet anywhere you go. Now, I can listen to Pandora Internet Radio and use the different applications because the Internet usage is not as slow. If you’re in a rush to go somewhere, you don’t have to wait 10 minutes for a page to load if you’re looking up something or for a text or e-mail to send.”

Aubrey Faulkner, a junior secondary English education major, said the upgrade has improved the way she communicates with family and friends through her Pantech Link cell phone.

“I can send pictures to my family back home,” Faulkner said. “It used to take about three days to get there if it sent at all. It lets me get messages faster, and I can call people easier. I have friends who live in the dorm, and I wouldn’t be able to call them in the past. I was surprised when I found out Ruston finally had 3G.”

E-mail comments to ang017@latech.edu.