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AT&T to invest $14B in broadband over 3 years


AT&T kicked off an investor conference in New York with news that it will invest $14 billion in broadband during the next three years. $8 billion of that will go to wireless, and $6 billion will go to the carrier’s wireline infrastructure.

AT&T says its three biggest growth areas are wireless data, strategic business services, and U-verse, which is bundled phone, cable and Internet service. The carrier says this investment will expand its potential in all of these areas.

AT&T says it will expand its LTE network to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014. Previously the target was 250 million people by the end of 2013. The company also says that 99% of the customer locations in its wireline service areas will get high speed Internet access, either through IP wireline or LTE.

“These are things we’ve done before – logical extensions of proven technologies and already successful businesses,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “We are very confident in our ability to execute this plan.”

The company said that after the investment period for the project, dubbed Project Velocity IP, it expects 90% of its revenue to come from the high-growth areas of wireless, wireline data and managed IT services. Stephenson said that revenues in those areas “are all growing at a strong-double-digit rate. Project VIP expands our potential in these key platforms and makes them available to many more customers.”

AT&T said that through various spectrum deals, if will have about 118 MHz of spectrum nationwide and will continue to push for the release of even more. The operator also indicated that it will deploy small cells and DAS networks to increase the density and efficiency of its network.

The company also said it will expand its U-Verse TV/Internet/VoIP service by more than one-third, or about 8.5 million additional customer locations; upgrade speeds; and expand its fiber network to more businesses. In 25% of its wireline customer locations where IP wireline economics are unattractive, AT&T says it will push LTE for voice and high-speed Internet services.

“In many places, AT&T’s 4G LTE service will be the first high speed IP broadband service available to many customers,” the company added.

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Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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