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AT&T (T) Deploys 5G Network in 22 Additional U.S. Cities

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AT&T Inc.’s T largest operating segment, AT&T Communications, recently announced that it has deployed 5G network across 22 additional cities in the United States. The move underscores the tech behemoth’s commitment to accelerate the nationwide switch of 5G buildout by providing enhanced reliability, speed and network coverage to enterprises and customers.

In sync with its commitment to provide nationwide 5G in the first half of 2020, AT&T has deployed its low-band 5G coverage to nine cities in January and 13 in February. The wireless service provider expanded 5G network infrastructure in 22 additional markets in March, thereby bringing the tally to 80 cities across the nation to date. Some of these cities are Albany, GA; Binghamton, NY; Provo, UT; Cincinnati, OH; Sussex County, NJ; Lancaster, PA and Raleigh County, WV.

Acting as a backbone in the network expansion plan, the 5G service currently available in the above-mentioned cities leverages low-band spectrum. With more than 80 million users, this breakthrough service offers ultra-low latency speeds and exceptional network performance with wider coverage compared to its premium 5G+ services. Accessible in select parts of 35 cities, the 5G+ technology utilizes high millimeter wave spectrum to provide ultra-fast speed, lower latency and better connectivity to numerous educational institutions, hospitals and businesses. Interestingly, this avant-garde network will be available in Samsung Galaxy S20 line of devices, which will hit the markets on Mar 6.

AT&T is focused on building networks that will enable fiber-based connectivity and LTE to work efficiently alongside 5G solutions, making the most of business transformation. Its 5G policy framework hinges on three pillars — mobile 5G, fixed wireless and edge computing. The tech giant’s wireless network covers more than 99% of Americans and is reportedly the fastest in the nation. Its LTE network covers more than 400 million people in North America. Sustainable subscriber growth, backed by network expansion, remains a key driver.

For the three-year period of 2020-2022, AT&T expects consolidated revenue growth of 1-2% per year. Adjusted earnings are expected between $4.50 and $4.80 per share by 2022, with adjusted EBITDA margin of 35%. Free cash flow is anticipated between $30 billion and $32 billion in 2022, with net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA of 2x to 2.3x as 100% debt related to the acquisition of Time Warner assets is likely to be repaid.

AT&T has long-term earnings growth expectation of 5.5%. Backed by diligent execution of operational strategies, the stock has gained 21.2% compared with the industry’s rise of 11.9% in the past year.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Telenav, Inc. TNAV, Perion Network Ltd. (PERI - Free Report) and PCTEL, Inc. PCTI, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Telenav exceeded estimates twice in the trailing four quarters, the positive earnings surprise being 77.1%, on average.

Perion exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the positive earnings surprise being 87.9%, on average.

PCTEL exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the positive earnings surprise being 150.6%, on average.

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