AT&T outlines growth strategy, led by 5G and fiber – Light Reading
DALLAS In anticipation of closing the pending WarnerMedia transaction with Discovery, Inc. in the second quarter, AT&T (NYSE:T) is laying out its updated strategy and financial outlook for the company moving forward. This includes detailed operational and financial expectations through 2023.
America’s Best Broadband Provider
AT&T intends to become America’s best broadband provider, underpinned by a best-in-class network with fiber at its foundation. And by owning and operating both fiber and wireless, AT&T’s owner’s economics will provide better flexibility to deliver high-quality broadband in more places for businesses and consumers.
As part of this strategy, AT&T plans to double its fiber footprint to 30-plus million locations, including increasing its business customer locations by 2x to 5 million. In doing so, the company expects to add 3.5 million to 4 million customer locations each year. The company also expects to enhance the nation’s best and most reliable 5G network by deploying 120 MHz of mid-band spectrum to cover more than 200 million people by the end of 2023. Enabling faster speeds, increased capacity and lower latency, this valuable mid-band spectrum complements the company’s existing 5G footprint, which covers more than 255 million people in more than 16,000 cities and towns.
At today’s event, the company will address in more detail how it plans to drive sustainable revenue and earnings growth by:
Leveraging Consistent Go-to-Market Strategy to Drive Customer Growth in Mobility and Fiber
Building on the company’s success in 2021, during which it led the industry in postpaid voice net additions, AT&T expects to drive additional customer growth through its consistent go-to-market strategy and by tapping into underpenetrated segments of the mobility market. AT&T also expects to continue benefitting from the migration of customers to its unlimited plans, particularly to higher-ARPU Unlimited Elite the company’s fastest-growing rate plan. In addition, as its fiber footprint expands, the company expects to continue gaining share in the consumer broadband market where it offers fiber, building upon the momentum it has established with four consecutive years of 1 million or more fiber subscriber additions.
Optimizing Returns on Legacy Businesses Helps Fuel Investment
As more network traffic moves to fiber and 5G, AT&T expects to drive significant savings by reducing the company’s legacy copper footprint. By 2025, AT&T expects that 75% of its network footprint will be served via fiber and 5G and that it will have reduced its copper services footprint by 50%. At the same time, the company will successfully navigate the timing and profitability of the migration from legacy to next-generation products to optimize returns.
AT&T is also developing software solutions on top of its connectivity, collaborating with valued partners to develop new solutions for businesses. These include Network Edge solutions through alliances with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud; Private 5G services offering businesses, universities and the public sector private cellular networks that seamlessly integrate with AT&T’s nationwide macro network; and solutions to provide safe, secure connectivity in today’s hybrid work environments.
Ultimately, as it makes these transitions, AT&T plans to use cash flow from more mature businesses to help fuel its planned $24 billion in annual capital investment in 2022 and 2023, with incremental cost savings hitting the bottom line.
Executing Against Targeted Cost Reduction Initiatives
As a standalone company, AT&T will also continue to pursue its transformation initiatives and sees significant opportunities to optimize its cost structure. By the end …….