AT&T will invest $14 billion over the next three years to improve its wireless and wireline IP broadbank networks in the United States.
The investment plan, which the company has codenamed Project Velocity IP, is designed to try and expand the services which are experiencing the most growth and increased revenue from consumers.
Part of the investment, detailed in a press release issued today, will be targeted specifically at growing its internet connectivity and services for mobile phone owners.
AT&T said they plan to expand their 4G LTE network to cover 300 million people in the United States by 2014. This figure is an upgrade from its previous aim of 250 million people by the end of 2013. Once the developments are complete, AT&T’s 4G network will cover “99 pecent of all customer locations”, according to the company.
To support this move though, AT&T also wants to purchase additional parts of the wireless spectrum. Currently the company owns 118Mhz of spectrum across the United States, provided all of its ongoing transcations receive regulatory approval. As part of today’s announcement, AT&T added that they would “advocate with the FCC for release of additional spectrum for the industry’s long-term needs.”
For its traditional wireline IP network, AT&T has promised to improve its coverage by the end of 2015, so that it sufficiently supports a total of 57 million customer and small business locations.
The network expansion will include the continued roll-out of its U-verse bundles, which will be available to 8.5 million new users by the end of 2015. This increase, which the company says will increase its current user base by more than a third, is expected to bring the total number of potential consumers up to 33 million.
Before that however, AT&T also plans to offer its U-verse IPDSLAM service, which offers just high-speed internet access and VoIP, to a total of 24 million locations by the end of 2013. The improvements will mean that users see U-verse speeds of up to 75Mbps and for U-verse IPDSLAM, speeds of up to 45Mbps.
Meanwhile, the company’s fiber offerings will be made available to an additional one million business customer locations – although a timeframe for delivering this has not been set yet.
Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, said:
“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. We have the opportunity to improve AT&T’s revenue growth and cost structure for years to come, and create substantial value for shareowners.”
The $14 billion investment will also be used for a number of “new growth intiatives”, which include AT&T Digital Life, Mobile Wallet and Connected Car, among others.
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