AT&T exec: Network improving, 2011 best infrastructure year

"We feel good about the progress, but I don't want to suggest that we are done" with network performance improvements, says AT&T exec.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

An AT&T executive acknowledged that the telecom company's wireless network needed improvement, but also noted strong infrastructure strides.

Speaking at a Citi investment conference on Thursday, AT&T's John Stankey, president & CEO, business solutions, said the company's dropped calls have dropped and network performance has been stable.

We feel good about the progress, but I don't want to suggest that we are done. We know that there are areas that we still need to focus on. We know that there are geographic hotspots that still need work. I think we understand exactly where those are. There are good plans in place to get them done and I am very confident that our trajectory will carry into 2012 and we will see the continued progress and improvement as we move forward.

Stankey also said AT&T's LTE rollout is underway and although coverage is sparse, he's confident that the HSPA+ network is strong. In addition, AT&T's progress in San Francisco has been notable, but permits are hard to get everywhere, he said.

Other key points:

  • AT&T would do the T-Mobile deal again. Stankey said there are "no second guesses about having done it." He reiterated that the industry needs more spectrum.

  • Enterprise mobility is seen as a big growth market, said Stankey. He said:

We are working on a consultative basis to work with large enterprises to figure out how they bring mobile technology into their business to change their process, how they improve their supply chain, how they improve their ability to sell directly to their customers, how do they improve B2B2C and in doing that, we have seen great progress not only in selling more mobile applications, but pulling through mobile services and pulling through other wireline services as well. We have signed some very large deals in the last part of 2011, over $200 million in contract value that are tied to this solution-based selling on integrating and bringing mobile solutions into the enterprise.

  • Capital spending for AT&T will continue to focus on mobility.

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