Our Mexico Network Team Delivers a World-Class 4G LTE Network
By: Lauren Garner, AT&T Insider
Last year, we commited to bring our 4G LTE mobile network to 100 million people in Mexico by the end of 2018.
Now, our next-gen, high-speed mobile internet covers more than 70 million people in 144 cities across the country. We started this rollout July 2015. And it already includes Mexico City, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, among others.
Merging 2 networks into a faster one
Rewind to when we entered the Mexico market. The network was mostly 2G technology and lightly covered by 4G in 3 markets. And, it wasn’t the 4G network we enjoy in the U.S. It was advanced 3G network with slower speeds and capabilities.
It wasn’t simple. We had 2 different networks. Our network team built a plan with one goal in mind: build a 4G LTE network that serves both customer bases as one.
Under the leadership of Carlos Sanchez, vice president and chief technology officer, our network teams set out with a plan—still in play today.
“We decided to build a multi-technology network with a one touch strategy for each cell site,” Sanchez said. “We would go to a site, transform it in a short amount of time, and add LTE and radios covering the complete licensed spectrum. This provided access to all of our customers – with room to grow. We chose the strengths from each core network to combine into one world-class network.”
When competitors become collaborators
Easier said than done. The 4G LTE rollout had to be very aggressive. In July 2015, we began adding equipment to enhance each cell site as a part of our effort to provide a more consistent wireless experience to all legacy customers.
But the 2 network workforces did not know each other. After all, they used to be competitors. They referred to the legacy networks by color – orange for Nextel and red for IUSACELL. Now they are one as AT&T blue.
The integration was challenging. Each team had to learn about the other color’s legacy network. They implemented the best practices from both sides. And in less than 5 months, they understood the complete customer experience.
Creating a new digital world
“Our arrival in Mexico along with our ability to quickly deploy 4G LTE created opportunities for economic development,” Sanchez said. “Now new businesses – in healthcare, education, fleet management and other industries – can branch out with mobile solutions, like Internet of Things.
“All that we have accomplished is the product of a very talented team. We are blessed to have this level of engagement in our workforce. It’s been the pillar of our success. I thank them for the results they achieved so far.”