AT&T Plans Big 5G Expansion in 2023

AT&T aims to embrace 200 million people with mid-band 5G past the end of 2023, but it didn’t brand any new wireless promises for 2022 at an analyst event today. Rather, the company focused on promoting its fiber network over alternatives like cablevision and fixed wireless.

After spending three years trying to go a media firm, AT&T is back to being a connectivity company. Churn is downwards and client additions are upwardly, said Jennifer Robertson, EVP and GM of AT&T Mobility.

Nearly of the event was spent touting AT&T’s fiber landline network rather than its nationwide wireless network, though. “The network must start with a solid foundation of fiber,” said AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh.

AT&T says that merely fiber can handle the data demands of US homes.

To that end, AT&T volition continue to extend its cobweb footprint out from the existing towns and suburbs information technology serves as it aims to hit the “roughly l million households” that are “prime for cobweb” but not yet served, he said.

AT&T’south championing of cobweb comes equally bandwidth needs shift from big role buildings to homes, AT&T execs said at the meeting. With 35 meg more US workers having an option to work from home than earlier the pandemic, in-home data usage volition row to 4.6TB/calendar month by 2025, McElfresh said. Only fiber, in his view, has the capacity and symmetry to handle that.

30M covered

AT&T aims to have 30 million buildings with admission to fiber by 2025.

“Information technology’s multi-gig capable the twenty-four hour period we install information technology, information technology provides the fastest operation, it’s symmetrical and wherever fiber goes, wireless follows,” he said.

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AT&T went into less item than Verizon or T-Mobile recently has in terms of how fast wireless would follow. McElfresh confirmed that AT&T is deploying “two radios per belfry” equally it simultaneously builds networks based on the C-band spectrum and its newer 3.45-3.55GHz spectrum.

“We’re able to deploy a full of 80MHz of mid-band spectrum starting this yr,” McElfresh said.

AT&T's spectrum deployment strategy

A ‘one touch’ strategy to deploy C-band and 3.45GHz may be slower than other approaches, just AT&T says it will bring more than capability online more efficiently.

The company reiterated that it would have seventy million people covered by mid-band in 2022 and aimed for 200 million people covered by the finish of 2023. That puts it behind competitors. Verizon says it will accept 175 million covered with C-band by the end of 2022, while T-Mobile is aiming for 260 million with mid-band past the end of this year.

McElfresh said that he’southward all the same confident because AT&T has a “strong coverage advantage in foursquare miles,” where its existing “low-band provides the best and nearly consistent experience.”

The company’due south FirstNet contracts with government agencies such as law departments also make for a unique advantage, he said.

In prepaid, Cricket helped make AT&T the fastest-growing prepaid carrier in the US, and AT&T’due south new deal to provide nationwide roaming for Dish will buoy AT&T’s wholesale concern.

AT&T besides has pregnant room to grow with the Mexican-American market, as it owns a wireless carrier in Mexico, Robertson said. “Nosotros’re the merely carrier to offer unlimited talk, text, and data in both countries, because it’due south one network, two countries,” she said.

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