AT&T says that it spent more than $140 billion between 2018 and last year, mostly on its domestic wired and wireless network. Much of the spending was in capital investments—including the FirstNet first responder network – and wireless spectrum acquisition.
The carrier provided the figure in a wide-ranging update of its operations.
Resiliency: In an effort build reliability and resilience into its network and maintain service during extreme weather, climate events and increasing instabilities in the commercial power infrastructure, AT&T has deployed what it calls an “emergency” third pathway to each mobility network hub. It also spent millions on generators and batteries in the refresh of its power back up system ever. This has resulted in a 35% reduction in the likelihood of major outages.
AT&T is using network digital twin to simplify processes, model resiliency measures and forecast how to optimize its build. It’s working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to model future climate impacts through the Climate Change Analysis Tool.
Wireless: AT&T added 100,000 square miles of coverage and now reaches more than 2.91 million square miles. Its 5G network is available to 290 million people in almost 24,000 cities and towns. At the end of last year, more than 150 million people had access to AT&T’s mid-band 5G spectrum. This was more than double the initial target for that point in time. The 5G+ service now is available to more than 50 cities and almost 70 venues and airports.
Tribal Lands: During the past two years, AT&T says its own investments, public-private partnerships such as FirstNet and initiatives through the American Rescue Plan Act have increased coverage on Tribal lands by more than 40%.
FirstNet: The first responders’ network now covers more than 99% of the U.S. population and has surpassed 99%+ of its Band 14 coverage target with the FirstNet Authority. The carrier continues to work with federal, state, tribal, territorial, urban and rural first responders.
“Society thrives on connection. And our people, resources and expertise are what’s making AT&T the best connectivity provider, ” Chris Sambar Head of AT&T Network, said in a press release about the AT&T spending. “These network milestones reinforce this, and we’ll continue to expand and fortify our infrastructure to give more communities – rural, urban and tribal – access to the connectivity we all rely on.”