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AT&T Extends Broadband Connectivity Across Rural Alabama

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AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) recently expanded its Fixed Wireless Internet service across the rural and underserved locations in Alabama. With this endeavor, the company has rolled out broadband connectivity in 18 states across the United States.

Through Fixed Wireless Internet service, AT&T will offer an Internet connection with download speed of at least 10Mbps and upload speed of at least 1Mbps. The connectivity is facilitated through a wireless tower and is routed via a fixed antenna placed on the customer’s home. This cost-effective Internet connection is arguably one of the best methods to deliver high-quality faster broadband to customers in underserved rural areas.

Since 2015, AT&T has invested about $1.2 billion to improve the wireline and wireless networks in Alabama. The company will use fiber optics to connect the wireless towers with its dedicated global network to deliver the Fixed Wireless Internet service. AT&T has an extensive coverage of fiber optics in Alabama with more than 2 million strand miles of fiber optics spanning the state.

With the inclusion of Alabama, AT&T presently offers this service to more than 440,000 locations across 18 states and further aims to provide Internet access to above 1.1 million locations by the end of 2020. In addition, the company is gearing up to launch the first standards-based 5G services to consumers in multiple U.S. markets by the end of 2018. AT&T has been working hard since 2017 to lay the foundation for mobile 5G network and has completed network upgradation in 23 major cities.

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

Despite the positives, AT&T has recorded an average decline of 5.5% in the past six months while the industry has rallied 6.7%. It remains to be seen how the recent initiatives by the company help its share price performance in the long run.

AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are United States Cellular Corp. (USM - Free Report) , CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL - Free Report) and Telenav, Inc. (TNAV - Free Report) . While United States Cellular sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CenturyLink and Telenav carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

United States Cellular has long-term earnings growth expectation of 1%. It surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 340.4%.

CenturyLink has trumped earnings estimates twice in the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 13.7%.        

Telenav surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 3.7%.

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