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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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