CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Alltel, which has more than 1.7 million customers in North Carolina, is expanding and enhancing the coverage areas of its high-speed wireless data network services around the Triangle and other areas.

Alltel launched its “Axcess” wireless broadband service in the Raleigh-Durham market in December. The company said this week that it is investing more than $20 million around the Triangle.

“Raleigh is extremely well covered,” said Alice Harnett, corporate communications manager for Alltel. “Instead of having to go to a WiFi hotspot, you can have high-speed Internet access on our network.”

Alltel plans to provide wireless broadband coverage across 60% of its national network by the end of this year, Harnett added. The Axcess service is now available in Charlotte.

The Wilmington and Fayetteville markets will support Axcess service later this year, the company said.

Axcess offers data connections at between 400-700 kilobits per second with bursts to 2.4 megabits per second.

The latest investment “expands and enhances our wireless broadband service and also adds new cell sites,” she added.

New or enhanced coverage areas include:

  • South Durham area (Cook Road, Fayetteville Street, and Hwy. 751)
  • In and around Southpoint Mall in Durham
  • Interstate-85 near Burlington
  • Winstead Avenue/Hwy. 64, area hotels, restaurants, and Nash General Hospital
  • RBC Center and state fairgrounds
  • Alltel is investing more than $90 million to upgrade its North Carolina network in 2006.

    More sites and improvements will be made later this year, Harnett said. Among those locations are downtown Raleigh, Highway 401 and Forestville Road in Wake County, Chatham County, downtown Roxboro, Butner, the Apex-Holy Springs-Fuquay Varina area, and around Highway 501 in Durham.

    Users can utilize the network with properly equipped cell phones, wireless devices, PCs and laptops.