Sunday, March 14, 2021

AT&T to spend $6-8 billion deploying newly acquired C-band spectrum

In an Analyst & Investor Day presentation, AT&T updated its 5G strategy for deploying 5G in both sub-6 (5G) and mmWave (5G+) spectrum bands in 2021.

Some highlights:

  • AT&T will begin offering 5G access to consumers on its current unlimited wireless plans at no additional cost.
  • AT&T secured 80mhz of spectrum and a 29% share of the available licenses in the recent C-band auction. The company plans to begin deploying the first 40 MHz of this spectrum by the end of 2021. AT&T expects to spend $6-8 billion in capex deploying C-band spectrum, with the vast majority of the spend occurring from 2022 to 2024. Expected C-band deployment costs are already included in the company’s 2021 capex guidance and in its leverage ratio target for 2024.
  • Funding C-band spectrum. AT&T’s investment in C-band spectrum via Auction 107 totals $27.4 billion, including expected payments of $23 billion in 2021.
  • AT&T currently has 70% of its low and mid-band spectrum in service. 
  • In 2021, AT&T plans to increase its fiber footprint by an additional 3 million customer locations across more than 90 metro areas.
  • AT&T's 5G+ service is now available in parts of 38 cities in the U.S.
  • AT&T plans to deploy 5G in 17 venues across the country by the end of 2021 including stadiums, arenas and practice facilities.
  • AT&T plans to deploy 5G at 8 U.S. airports by the end of this year.
  • AT&T has begun offering fixed 5G wireless solutions for businesses.
  • AT&T is working with cloud service providers to deliver optimized network routing to localized edge computing zones that can support latency-sensitive applications without dedicated on-premises hardware.
  • AT&T expects between 120 million and 150 million worldwide HBO Max and HBO subscribers by the end of 2025, up from the 75-90 million projected in October 2019.
  • AT&T recently announced plans to spinoff its U.S. video business operations into a newly formed entity jointly owned with TPG Capital.
  • Between 2016 and 2020, AT&T’s total investment in the United States, including capital investment and acquisitions of spectrum and wireless operations, was more than $105 billion.

“Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do - 140 years and counting. From our fiber network backbone to the layers of wireless spectrum technology, we provide 5G network coverage that delivers the speeds, security and lower latency connections that customers and businesses need,” said Jeff McElfresh, CEO – AT&T Communications.