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AT&T (T) Invests Almost $550M, Enhances Local Networks

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In an effort to strengthen its local networks in Arkansas, AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) has invested almost $550 million in wireless and wired networks in the state during 2015-2017. Notably, these investments of the company helped in enhancing the coverage, speed and overall performance of its mobile network for residents, and businesses. These also helped meet the network requirements of the first responders for safety and security of Arkansas’ residents.

Also, the company is looking to form a partnership with Los Angeles, CA, for the deployment of Smart Cities Solutions across the city. Per the public-private partnership, AT&T and the city will work together for the extensive deployment of AT&T's Internet of Things (IoT) technology as well as small cells. This will help solve local issues such as public safety and traffic, and ensure natural-disaster preparedness. Notably, the partnership will focus on deploying small cells more rapidly, which will boost the existing voice and data capacity in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, this will facilitate the launch of 5G network.

Notably, the company, along with the city, is exploring various Smart Cities Solutions like digital kiosks, structural monitoring and digital infrastructure for deployment. The deployment across all neighbourhoods will improve the connectivity across the city. In addition, the company is looking to offer FirstNet services to the LA Police Department and LA Fire Department. Notably, the FirstNet Project is the first dedicated nationwide wireless network for first responders, which is likely to drive AT&T’s prospects in the future. AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) revealed the inclusion of 50 states, five U.S. territories and Washington DC in the FirstNet Project.

Also, AT&T recently announced the deployment of Aira Service in more than 5,300 of its retail locations across the United States. This will offer people belonging to blind and low-vision group access to free use of Aira's service at all AT&T’s retail and authorized retail stores. As part of its plan of 5G deployment in a dozen cities in 2018, the company recently announced its decision to launch mobile 5G service in certain areas of five cities — Houston, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans and San Antonio — this year.

Our Take

AT&T is gearing up to launch the first standard-based 5G services to consumers in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018. The company has been working hard since 2017 to lay the foundation for mobile 5G network. Notably, completion of 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s first implementable 5G new radio (NR) specification has set the stage for the global mobile industry to start full-scale development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployments in 2019. This offers a competitive advantage to AT&T.

 

In the past month, shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have returned 3.6% compared with 2.0% growth recorded by the industry. Moreover, the company has completed the acquisition of Time Warner for $85 billion. With assets like HBO, CNN and TNT, the deal will allow the power packed combination of AT&T’s data and Time Warner’s content to create new kinds of online videos and sell targeted advertisements to counter stiff competition.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks in the industry are Telenav, Inc. (TNAV - Free Report) , United States Cellular Corporation (USM - Free Report) and Windstream Holdings, Inc. (WIN - Free Report) . All these companies carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Telenav has surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 3.72%.

United States Cellular has outpaced estimates thrice in the preceding four quarters, with an average earnings surprise of 303.56%.

Windstream Holdings has surpassed estimates twice in the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 23.50%.

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