AT&T seeks to boost network service in Hattiesburg

AT&T seeks to boost network service in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - 'Small cell towers' could boost service in the Hub City.

Making a call, sending a text message, playing a game or browsing the web are all part of your daily routine. That reliability on network service had AT&T representatives telling Hattiesburg city leaders their towers are "at capacity"  Monday evening.

"The big cell towers are being exhausted," said Hattiesburg Director of Urban Development Andrew Ellard. "I think there are some neighborhoods now that complain that they don't have great cell service within their neighborhoods."

Ellard said the small tool will be necessary in the future when it comes to highly trafficked areas like Highway 98, the Univerisity of Southern Mississippi and area hospitals.

"I mean, everybody I think is used to seeing these 400-foot tall cell towers, that's not what we are talking about here," Ellard said.

According to Ellard, the devices would be a small, compartment box on a light pole, or even a billboard or private roof.

"You may drive by and not even notice it was there," Ellard said.

The fifth generation of cellular technology, or 5G, is the wave of the future, boosting your service, speed and even steering driverless cars.

AT&T is the first to approach the city, but Ellard expects other telecommunications companies to follow, even with the possibility to share locations.

"While this isn't a city service we'd be offering, we recognize there is technology coming our way and we want to be prepared for it and create the opportunity where cellular companies can create the infrastructure to better support citizens," Ellard said.