AT&T notching 37% subscriber penetration charges in fiber markets

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Fueling justification of its aggressive fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) buildout, AT&T stated it witnessed 37% service penetrations throughout its complete fiber footprint, together with new-build areas, final 12 months.

In markets comparable to New Orleans, Miami and Louisville, the place AT&T is now constructing FTTP quickly, penetrations are “properly north of 30% after solely 12 months of fiber deployment,” Jenifer Robertson, AT&T’s EVP and GM, mobility, stated Friday throughout AT&T’s annual analyst and investor day.

By comparability, Frontier Communications, a telco with a rural-skewing footprint, has seen penetration charges of practically 42% within the mature elements of its fiber footprint, and is seeing penetrations of twenty-two% on the 12-month mark in new-build areas.

About two-thirds of AT&T’s fiber provides are new to AT&T, Robertson added. With a nod towards service bundling, AT&T can be seeing a 50% enhance in wi-fi market share in its fiber footprint.

(Source: Roman Tiraspolsky/Alamy Stock Photo)

(Supply: Roman Tiraspolsky/Alamy Inventory Picture)

AT&T constructed about 2.6 million new fiber places in 2021. The corporate reiterated a plan to construct out a footprint of 30 million-plus places (25 million residential, 4 million small companies and 1 million enterprise places) by 2025. It would construct within the vary of three.5 million to 4 million places per 12 months within the coming years to hit that mark. AT&T additionally expects to spend $3 billion to $4 billion per 12 months to meet its fiber buildout mission.

“To us, fiber is foundational to our complete community. Wherever fiber goes, wi-fi follows,” Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications, stated.

McElfresh is assured that AT&T has the heft and offers in place to execute on the plan within the face of provide chain constraints and growing demand and prices for labor.

“We’re a really giant fiber overbuilder,” he stated. “We have got scale and we have accomplished it earlier than. That scale interprets to issues like provide chain agreements which can be lengthy in tenure and have actually good protections for each us and our suppliers.”

In tandem with the aggressive fiber buildout, the corporate expects broadband income to develop by 6% or extra in 2022, and within the mid-to-high single-digit vary in 2023. Whole annual capital bills are poised to hit $24 billion in 2022 and 2023, up from $20.1 billion in 2021.

McElfresh outlined the information development the corporate expects in coming years that can benefit from fiber-level speeds. Whereas shopper knowledge consumption has reached the neighborhood of 0.9 terabytes (TB) at this time, the corporate expects that to climb to 4.6 TB by 2025. AT&T expects to see massive positive aspects in its small- and medium-sized (SMB) and enterprise segments. It additionally anticipated that the typical variety of units related to the house community will triple, to about 40, by 2025.

AT&T CEO John Stankey signaled that the corporate expects to play a major position in authorities subsidy program bidding that is targeted on bringing broadband to underserved and unserved places. AT&T is working with coverage makers to assist ease its participation in these processes, and has stood up an inside group that’s exploring alternatives, he stated.

“We have now obtained a company and a mindset…to achieve success in knocking down a few of these funds,” Stankey stated, noting that AT&T has not constructed any of that exercise into its steering.

Killing copper

AT&T additionally introduced an accelerated plan to show down and decommission its legacy copper community. McElfresh stated the corporate expects to cut back its copper footprint by 50% by 2025. This 12 months’s tempo represents a 10x improve versus 2021, and the general copper program will attain a peak by 2024, he stated.

“In doing so, we’re rationalizing a price base of $6 billion,” McElfresh stated. “This system is within the early days of gaining scale, and we’re attending to the purpose the place the price of financial savings are materializing.” To this point, AT&T has already decommissioned over 900,000 community parts on its copper community, and seen a 16% discount in copper upkeep hassle ticket repairs.

'We're not opposed to fixed wireless' in certain segments of the market, John Stankey, AT&T's CEO, said. 
  (Source: Reuters/Alamy Stock Photo)

‘We’re not against fastened wi-fi’ in sure segments of the market, John Stankey, AT&T’s CEO, stated.

(Supply: Reuters/Alamy Inventory Picture)

The copper sundown plan will cowl thousands and thousands of places, and would possibly consider some authorities subsidy funding. AT&T, which has made its regulatory filings for the copper infrastructure unwinding, can even attempt to save or maintain DSL subs (AT&T ended 2021 with simply 315,000 DSL subs) utilizing different merchandise. AT&T will use fastened wi-fi “in lots of situations” in legacy copper areas the place total bandwidth demand is comparatively low, McElfresh stated.

AT&T’s use of fastened wi-fi for house broadband is dwarfed by its use by Verizon and T-Cell, as the corporate believes it is higher off making use of its wi-fi spectral property for higher-value cellular purposes.

“We’re not against fastened wi-fi,” John Stankey, AT&T’s CEO, stated. “I am certain there’s going to be segments of the market the place it is going to be acceptable and people are going to search out it to be satisfactory.”

However to be able to meet the bandwidth and latency wants of broadband purposes “nothing goes to prime fiber,” he added, noting that AT&T is making a “long term wager” with its fiber buildout plan.

“We’re not trying to serve terabytes of month-to-month consumption over wi-fi,” McElfresh stated.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Gentle Studying


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