At&T's Network Lags Behind, Analysts Drop Ratings

Posted by Kallan Dahn Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gerard Halleren, an analyst at Townhall Investment Research said that At&t will need to spend more to keep up with other companies like Verizon.  The statement comes after Townhall Investment Research dropped their rating on At&t from "Favorable" to Neutral.  The research firm estimates that At&t will need to spend an additional $5 Billion per year to keep up with the coverage being offered by Verizon Wireless. From 2006 to September 2009 At&t's capatal expenditures floated in above Sprints $16 Billion at around $21.6 Billion.  Verizon's spending however, tips the scales at $25.4 Billion for the same period.  The firm sites that At&t puts too much emphasis on upgrading their wireline network, while their wireless network is bringing in a bulk of their profit. "It's a choice to spend or suffer" said Halleren.  At&t has already upgraded their network with a new 3G HSPA 7.2 software, but is still working on improving their backhaul to facilitate the use of the software.  According to At&t the upgrade will result in a better overall experience by providing consistancy in their data sessions. Further At&t will begin to test LTE equipment this year, and begin deployment around 2011.  This is well behind Verizon's estimates to have 35 major markets covered by the end of this year, and agressivly fill in their remaining network durring 2011.

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