AT&T Says LTE Deployment Is Ahead of Schedule

AT&T Inc. is now expecting to cover almost all of the American population with 4G LTE by the end of this year, ahead of its original 2014 plans. "It’s still early, but we have already made tremendous progress on our LTE deployment. ... We expect to complete almost 90 percent of our 300 million [person] planned buildout by the end of this year," CFO John Stephens said on AT&T's first-quarter earnings call Tuesday afternoon. The company is already ahead of schedule, covering almost 200 million people with 4G LTE. AT&T said in January that it expected to cover 250 million with LTE in 2013 and 300 million in 2014. (See (AT&T's 4G LTE Summer Splurge, AT&T Wants to Cover 250M With 4G LTE in 2013 and AT&T Puts Up $14B to Boost Broadband.) Meanwhile, the operator is expecting to trim capex to $20 billion from $22 billion a year in 2014 and 2015 even as it continues with Project Velocity IP (VIP). Stephens said there were more efficiencies than AT&T had foreseen going in into the build. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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