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AT&T (T) Invests $2.3B in Illinois, Enhances Local Networks

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In an effort to strengthen its local networks in Illinois, AT&T Inc. T recently announced that it invested almost $2.3 billion in wireless and wired networks in the state during 2015-2017. Notably, these investments helped in enhancing the coverage, speed, reliability as well as 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 Illinois’ residents.

Since 2010, the company has made an investment of more than $8 billion in its Illinois networks. As a matter of fact, in 2017, the company’s considerable investment in Chicago, Springfield and other networks are noteworthy. As part of the investments, in 2017, the company’s work involved 1,154 enhancements to its network. Notably, these enhancements include addition of new cell sites, additional network capacity as well as network upgrades in these regions.

Of late, the company has been building its 4G LTE network and presently covers more than 400 million people in North America. Also, it is gearing up to launch the first standards-based mobile 5G services to consumers in multiple U.S. markets. AT&T has been working hard since 2017 to lay the foundation for mobile 5G network.

In addition, 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.

Our Take

AT&T’s wireless growth opportunities from the launch of standards-based mobile 5G services in 2018 and the FirstNet project remain impressive.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 the company.

Also, 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.

However, the company’s wireline division is facing losses in access line due to competitive pressure from voice-over-Internet protocol service providers. Also, strong competition from various big and small market players including T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS, Sprint Corporation and Verizon Communications Inc. VZ remains a threat to AT&T’s profitability.

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