AT&T said it will pay off 75% of the $40 billion debt it raised to pay for Time Warner by the end of this year. In a shareholder update, the wireless giant also reaffirmed its pledge to have nationwide 5G coverage by early 2020 and said it's attracting new customers with its FirstNet network for first responders.
As for the Time Warner tab, AT&T is paying its acquisition debt down as soon as possible since it will have to write it off in the future.
On 5G, AT&T said it has the next generation wireless service live in parts of 19 cities. In the short term, its primary focus is on attracting business customers and selling them on the benefits that the spectrum's high speeds and ultra-low latency will eventually provide.
Its first responder network FirstNet, announced in 2017, aims to provide a nationwide broadband network for America's public safety community. AT&T said FirstNet's deployment is ahead of schedule with more than 7,250 public safety agencies signed up. The company expects FirstNet subscriber growth to ramp throughout 2019.
"On average, for every first responder subscribing to FirstNet with a personal device, the company adds an additional family member as a subscriber," AT&T note in its shareholder update. "The FirstNet build has also allowed AT&T to expand its sales distribution network into new areas it didn't previously serve."
AT&T also reiterated its fiscal 2019 guidance, saying it expects low single-digit adjusted EPS growth and capital spending in the $23 billion range.