AT&T Plans Slight Capex Dip in 2011

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) unveiled its capex plans for 2011 today as it announced its fourth-quarter financial results. (See AT&T Reports Record Wireless Net Adds in Q4.)

The U.S. giant said it plans to spend in the "low-to-mid-$19 billion range," and that it would increase the amount spent on wireless infrastructure and systems.

With the carrier putting its top-end capex forecast at $19.5 billion, that means it's planning to spend slightly less this year than last.

AT&T said it spent $20.3 billion on capital expenditures in 2010, including $650 million related to LTE wireless spectrum costs that won't be capitalized in 2011. Without that particular item, then, AT&T's 2010 capex was $19.65 billion.

The news will come as a blow to any vendors who were hoping that AT&T might dip further into its pockets this year. And, with wireless spending going up and the total planned capex going down slightly, the concerns will be felt most by those who rely on AT&T's fixed-line business for their purchase orders.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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