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AT&T (T) Takes Its 5G Evolution Service to 99 New Markets

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AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) recently announced that it will continue to expand the list of locations, under the coverage of its 5G Evolution service, by adding 99 new markets. The addition will extend the company’s coverage to 239 markets. The company is looking to offer 5G Evolution in more than 400 markets by the end of 2018, with plans to extend the coverage nationwide by the first half of 2019.

Touted as an upgraded version of the company’s 4G LTE network, 5G Evolution offers a combination of functionalities including 256 QAM and 4x4 MIMO. Of late, the company is also working on extending the availability of its LTE-LAA technology in parts of 20 cities. On capable devices, the LTE-LAA technology has the capability to reach a wireless speed of 1 gigabit per second.

Currently, the full fleet of 72 dedicated deployable network assets have become accessible to the public safety subscribers of FirstNet across the United States. The availability will enable first responders to deploy these assets in case of any planed events and emergencies for safety and security of residents.

The FirstNet team from AT&T supported around 100 emergency and event response efforts through deployment of assets in 2018. Notably, the FirstNet Project is the first dedicated nationwide wireless network for first responders, which is likely to drive AT&T’s prospects.

Existing Business Scenario

Since 2017, AT&T has been making consistent efforts to lay the foundation for mobile 5G network.In this respect, the company has already deployed 5G technology trials in a number of cities. In fact, its wireless growth opportunities from the launch of standards-based mobile 5G services in 2018 and the FirstNet project are impressive.

In the past month, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have returned 6% compared with the industry’s 3% growth.

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.

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 remains a threat to AT&T’s profitability.

Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks in the industry are United States Cellular Corporation (USM - Free Report) , CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL - Free Report) and Windstream Holdings, Inc. (WIN - Free Report) . While United States Cellular sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CenturyLink and Windstream Holdings carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

United States Cellular surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average positive earnings surprise of 340.40%.

CenturyLink outpaced estimates twice in the preceding four quarters, with an average earnings surprise of 13.72%.

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

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