Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AT&T's Plan to Drive Economic Growth

On March 10th, AT&T announced its plan to rescue the US economy… I mean “to drive economic growth” through increased investment in their network.

According to the press release, “AT&T plans to invest $17 billion to $18 billion in 2009, in line with its 2007 capital expenditures of $17.7 billion and expected to exceed the planned investment of any other U.S. telecom company.”


So, what’s AT&T going to spend on? They list four items:

  • Expanding 3G service
  • Increasing HSPA data rates
  • Customer trials leading toward general availability of 3G femtocells
  • Continued expansion of AT&Ts leading Wi-Fi footprint

So the company is going to invest in two in-building wireless technologies? Wi-Fi and Femtocells.

Followers of this blog know that I often wonder why AT&T doesn’t just use their enormous presence in Wi-Fi (already in U-verse, ships with 2Wire DSL modems, AT&T DSL subscribers already get free access to +20,000 HotSpots from Wayport/ Starbucks / McDonalds and more) to do a simple UMA dual-mode phone service.

Not that femtocells are bad, but when probably 50% of AT&T’s 15 million DSL households already have Wi-Fi, and they are the biggest Wi-Fi hotspot provider in the US, and they have an exclusive on the most popular Wi-Fi enabled phone ever, it just makes sense.

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