AT&T plans to "to invest about $20 billion again in 2012 with a focus on wireless" (here) includes also an estimated investment of $55M, in 4 years, in SON - Self-optimizing Network technology, according to Inbal Orpaz report to The Marker (here and here - Hebrew). See also "Infonetics Sees $3B Mobile Optimization and SON Market by 2015" - here.
AT&T Foundry innovation centers, which are designed to bring innovations to market 3x faster .. Initial field trial results from California and Georgia have shown as much as a 10 percent improvement in call retainability, 10 percent improvement in throughput speeds and 15 percent reduction in overloading. Based on that success, AT&T plans to deploy SON throughout its network this year"
"One way Intucell’s SON improves network quality is by detecting when too many users are connected to a single tower, where neighboring towers could serve the same calls. Intucell’s SON then instructs the nearby towers to either join in helping to maintain the call, or in some cases to expand their footprint to cover some of the users on the overloaded cell, while the overloaded cell shrinks. It does this automatically in real time, rather than requiring manual adjustments from human operators"
See "AT&T Is Deploying Intucell’s SON Technology as Part of Latest Wireless Network Upgrades" - here.