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AT&T (T) to Reap Rewards as FirstNet Projects Gains Momentum

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Recently, AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) , and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) together revealed that so far more than 80% of the state governors have decided to enter the FirstNet project, the first nationwide dedicated wireless network for first responders. States still reviewing their options have until Dec. 28 to opt in or out of the project.

Notably, in March 2017, AT&T was selected by FirstNet to build and manage the first nationwide broadband network dedicated to America's police, firefighters and emergency medical services. The network aims to cover all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, including rural communities and tribal lands in those states and territories.

As part of the 25-year contract, FirstNet will provide AT&T with a swath of 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz frequency band for the entire duration. AT&T will also be given success-based payments of $6.5 billion over the next five years to design and build the network. The company is expected to spend around $40 billion over the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate and maintain the network. AT&T has projected that this contract will create more than 10,000 jobs over the next two years.

AT&T’s consortium to deploy FirstNet includes Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI - Free Report) , General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Free Report) , Sapient Consulting and Inmarsat Government. Importantly, per the deal, AT&T will be able to use this highly valuable spectrum for both commercial purposes and consumer services. This is why several industry researchers believe that the FirstNet project may come as a boon to cell tower operators such as American Tower Corp. (AMT - Free Report) and SBA Communications Corp. (SBAC - Free Report) .

In October 2017, AT&T and FirstNet introduced a new developer programme focused on public safety innovation. The programme will supply applications to a new FirstNet app store. These apps will be utilized by first responders who will select appropriate solutions to work on the FirstNet network that AT&T is set to build. Importantly, AT&T will connect FirstNet users to the company's telecommunications network assets, valued at more than $180 billion. This contract can be considered a necessary boost to the company’s profile.

Price Performance of AT&T

AT&T’s shares have gained 2.03% compared with the industry’s growth of 2.31% over the past 90 days. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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