AT&T plans $2bn wireless overhaul
Less iPhone suckage by 2011
AT&T has acknowledged that its US wireless service is in need of an upgrade, and the company is putting its money where its apologetic mouth is, allocating an additional $2bn or so to upgrade its network in 2010.
"Wireless is our No. 1 investment priority," John Stankey, head of Big Phone's operations division, is quoted by the Associated Press as saying.
The AP also noted that during AT&T's conference call with reporters and analysts after the announcement of the company's financial results for the fourth quarter of 2009, Big Phone execs spent "an unprecedented amount" of time and effort defending their beleagured network and talking about how they plan to improve it.
The iPhone, of course, was cited as a main drain on the network, and the execs admitted that its heavy usage in New York and San Francisco has dropped service below a level they would like to maintain.
So they're planning to spend between $18bn and $19bn in capital expenditures during 2010. While the company didn't give an exact figure as to what portion of that outlay would be for wireless, it did say that the increase in wireless spending would be in the neighborhood of $2bn, accoring to the AP.
That money will be spent not only on more cell towers, but also on the all-important backhaul fiber-optic lines that connect those towers to AT&T's backbone, in support of Big Phone's ongoing upgrade to 7.2Mbps HSPA (high-speed packet access) and in preparation for future LTE deployment. According to the company's Investor Briefing (PDF), released Thursday, by the end of 2010, the company expects that the majority of its mobile data traffic will be carried over the expanded fiber-based HSPA 7.2 and LTE-capable backhaul.
And the company should have to money to pull that off. According to its fourth-quarter results, Big Phone pulled in a total of $123bn in 2009, down a mere 0.8 per cent from 2008's $124bn. ®
Not accurate at all
1) Verizon Wireless tested GSM technology in the 2000/2001 time frame. They only did it as it was part of the agreement with Vodafone. When it was discovered that Verizon Wireless tested it, the news people picked up on it and asked Verizon Wireless about it. Their reply was that they only tested it because it was part of the agreement that they made with Vodafone and have no intention of GSM techologies. Chris Gent was the CEO of Vodafone at the time and he was not happy at all with their response.
Verizon Wireless is moving to LTE, which is the next generation for the GSM world and is a 4G technology, not 3G! Qualcomm has lost their footing in the CDMA space and the WCDMA camp is taking over. Qualcomm had nothing to do with WCDMA except it uses some of their technology so all they have done is collect royalties. Sprint went with Wi Max and that left Verizon Wireless as their largest CDMA customers for their 4G technology. It was behind schedule, expected to cost a lot more as most other CDMA carriers around the world planned on moving to LTE. So Verizon Wireless had little choice than to have a technology that only they use and that would limit handset choices.
2) AT&T didn't switch to anything for the iPhoney. They had a 3G network long before the iPhoney. While Apple was introducing a 2.5G handset; others had 3G handsets available for more than a year. When Apple released a 3.6Mbps handset; others had 7.2Mbps for over a year. When Apple released a 7.2Mbps handset; others were already selling 10Mbps.
Just because AT&T is upgrading to 7.2Mbps, doesn't mean they did it just for the iPhoney. They would need to upgrade anyway and it was planned to upgrade to a faster 3G speed before LTE. AT&T could have done 10Mbps, but probably decided not to a it would make the lame iPhoney look even more lame.
3) T-mobile doesn't have the spectrum to offer 3G on the same bands as AT&T. They spent money on the 1700MHz band. If they want 850MHz, they would need to buy another carrier; like AT&T or Verizon. They control the 850MHz spectrum in the top markets. T-Mobile has 1900Mhz spectrum which AT&T and Verizon does as well. T-Mobile doesn't have enough to offer GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as WCDMA in the 1900Mhz spectrum; so they bought the 1700/2100 MHz bands for the 3G network.
As for the article in general; there will always be iPhoney suckage; it is the phone that sucks and blows.
Wireless is our No. 1 investment priority," John Stankey
It sure as h ell isn't your employees!
Can you say: Outsource; Offshore; Surplus; Redundant?
At least they're admitting it
and (supposedly) spending some dosh toward fixing it. Better than T-Mobile and a lot of other companies going "problem? what problem?"