Fiber OpticsAT&T will launch fiber-to-the-home service in Dallas this summer, said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at a Morgan Stanley financial conference focused on communications today.  Stephenson said AT&T also will deploy FTTH in markets where it can get the same terms and conditions it received in Austin, Tex.

Some areas currently targeted to receive upgrades as part of the company’s Project Velocity IP may receive FTTH instead, Stephenson said. That project calls for AT&T’s fiber-to-the-node offering to be deployed to some areas that do not have broadband or only have low-speed DSL today.

In Austin, Stephenson said, “the cost dynamics have been encouraging – so encouraging that we want to begin taking it to other communities.”

AT&T initially deployed FTTH in Austin as a competitive to response to Google Fiber, which had negotiated terms and conditions with the city aimed at minimizing the cost of a high-speed FTTH network deployment. AT&T requested the same terms and conditions from the city that Google had negotiated.

Get our free newsletterProject Velocity IP is a particularly important initiative now that Comcast has made plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, Stephenson said.  The merged company would offer service covering 80% of the U.S. population and AT&T believes that deal will be approved, he noted.

Global SIM as secret sauce
AT&T is hopeful that it will gain substantial market share in the connected car market, Stephenson said. A key differentiator will be the global SIM card the company has “worked aggressively” to develop, he said.

As auto manufacturers make their plans, they will want to pick a single carrier to use worldwide and AT&T is well positioned to get that business as a result of its global SIM card, said Stephenson.

In 2015, 50% of the 15 million cars manufactured in the U.S. will have wireless connectivity, Stephenson said. The company already has agreements to provide connectivity to 40% of those vehicles “and we think the [number] will be 50% or better by the time 2015 gets here,” Stephenson said.

Bullish on SDN
Other notable comments from Stephenson’s presentation:

  • The company has improved the efficiency of its data centers by 50% through initiatives that include using software defined networking. As the company deploys SDN in its core network in upcoming years, Stephenson expects to see a 50% increase in efficiency there, too.
  • AT&T expects its acquisition of Leap Wireless to close this month – and Leap’s low-cost Cricket brand will be more competitive because “overnight it will have nationwide coverage on the AT&T network,” Stephenson said.
  • LTE broadcast technology will be an important initiative for AT&T as a means of handling burgeoning mobile video traffic.