Print 17 comment(s) - last by sorry dog.. on Nov 9 at 7:27 PM

AT&T looks to cover 300 million Americans with LTE, 1 million new business users with wired offerings

In its arms race with the nation's top carrier, wireless giant Verizon Communications, second-place AT&T Inc. (T) is digging deep into its pockets, looking to pour $8B USD into infrastructure upgrades.

AT&T currently beats Verizon in speed tests in select markets and offers better fallback 3G speeds than Verizon, thanks to its HSPA+ network.  However, it trails Verizon in coverage.  

But big things are ahead, promises AT&T, saying it will cover 300 million Americans with LTE by the end of 2014 -- about twice its current coverage.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson cheers, "This is a major commitment to invest in 21st Century communications infrastructure for the United States and bring high-speed Internet connectivity — 4G LTE mobile and wireline IP broadband — to millions more Americans."

AT&T glass
[Image Source: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton]

Also announced was a planned $6B USD investment over the next three years to beef up AT&T's wired internet, phone, and television offerings.  The investment will allow AT&T to expand its wired internet offerings to an estimated 1 million new business customers, as well as many consumer users.

AT&T has been moving aggressively to expand the reach of its Uverse service, which competes with the likes Comcast Corp. (CMCSA).  AT&T feels that it has a key advantage that cable-only providers don't, in that it can offer customers an additional bundled discount for being phone subscribers.

AT&T also announced that it was bumping its shareholder dividend.  That decision was made, says Mr. Stephenson due to AT&T's expectation that despite the large capital expenditures, it anticipates continuing to turn tidy profits over the next few years.

Source: AT&T

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RE: Still don't get it...
By StevoLincolnite on 11/7/2012 7:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
What's the point of LTE @ crazy speeds if you can hit your cap in literally a few minutes?

Surprisingly, it's almost the exact same story across the planet.

RE: Still don't get it...
By Master Kenobi on 11/7/2012 9:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, 4G can actually handle more speed and bandwidth than 3G, from a cost standpoint it is more cost effective for providers to maintain and expand the 4G infrastructure, especially AT&T.

Unfortunately they have used 4G as an excuse to raise prices even though it costs them less to provide 4G than 3G. I'm sure one can use the argument that the upfront costs of 4G deployment need to be recovered but they won't be lowering costs once that happens, it will simply cause an increase in profits as time goes on.

As much as I hate regulation, I do think the FCC needs to do something about these silly data caps.

RE: Still don't get it...
By sorry dog on 11/7/2012 11:39:29 PM , Rating: 3
How does it cost ATT less to provide 4G than 3G?

Last time I looked inside a cell site (which wasn't long ago) LTE required another frame of equipment in addition to the 3G equipment and none of that stuff is cheap so....

Not sure how you figure this one??

RE: Still don't get it...
By 0ldman on 11/8/2012 10:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
I do believe he is speaking from a point of view of capacity vs speed.

The higher the data rate available at the tower, the less each customer costs in resources.

More people can use it at any one time if a single sector capacity is 40mb vs 14mb.

RE: Still don't get it...
By sorry dog on 11/9/2012 7:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
maybe in the long run....for certain sites with higher traffic, but for a while I don't see how LTE lowers costs. It's a feature that some customers will pay more for....but hardly a cost cutting technology.

RE: Still don't get it...
By sixteenornumber on 11/7/2012 9:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
Surprisingly, it's almost the exact same story across the planet.

about 3 years ago i was living in the UK getting about 5GB/month (pay as you go) for 25 pounds. since then, prices have only gone up. I hope google or others like them enter the market like they are with fiber.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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