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AT&T Boasts 2-Year, $40B+ Spend

Elizabeth Miller Coyne
2/28/2017

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2017 -- AT&T says its 2017 capex outlay of $22 billion will take its investments over a two-year period to more than $40 billion, with more than 40% of that going to expand its portfolio of smart, agile, mobile and integrated business solutions worldwide.

The investment covers its domestic and international business and consumer infrastructure spend. "This global investment in part fuels innovation around SDN, security, smart city, next-gen collaboration, IoT and wireless," Steve McGaw, chief marketing officer of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Business Solutions, told Light Reading here in Barcelona.

According to the operator's official statement, AT&T's investments include strategic investments in the expansion of NetBond, Network on Demand (including FlexWare) and SD-WAN.

McGaw said FlexWare, a virtualized network functions solution launched late last year, lets customers download routers and firewall and application accelerators rather than take the traditional route of buying hardware. The service is currently available in 150 countries and will expand to 180 countries this year. "Traditionally business have to buy the hardware but with FlexWare they can download software applications just like you would get an app from the app store," said McGaw.

On the heels of releasing its latest Cybersecurity Insights report, which found that AT&T experienced a 400% increase in attackers searching for vulnerabilities in IoT devices during the first half of 2016, AT&T said that some of the $40 billion will go toward building out its Threat Intellect security foundation to improve cybersecurity processes, tools and training. (See AT&T: IoT Cyber Attacks Increase 400% in 2016.)

In addition, AT&T will invest in data-powered analytics and virtualized security capabilities, and facilitate the innovation of new security approaches and solutions within its Foundry locations, according to the press release. (See AT&T Continues to Invest to Expand Integrated Solutions for Businesses Worldwide.)

Other areas of investment include IoT, where AT&T will expand its multi-network IoT connectivity and professional services globally. The CSP will also focus on connectivity by continue to deliver high-speed wireline and wireless connectivity to more cities -- and will expand its North American WiFi, add availability to Mexico and Canada and beyond.

"We are pushing fiber deeper into the network, closer to the customer so that we can deliver higher reliability and give customers more control over the management of their infrastructure," added McGaw.

— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Alison_ Diana
Alison_ Diana
3/6/2017 | 2:30:17 PM
Re: Curious...
Totally agree, @daniel. We're seeing a lot of CSPs invest (wisely, IMHO) in big data and analytics, both for network management and customer service, as well as the basis for revenue-generating services. I wonder what percentage of the professional services' focus is earmarked for big data and/or analytics offerings?
KBode
KBode
3/3/2017 | 11:53:36 AM
Re: Curious...
I think you're right. I'm curious though how much of that data winds up in the lap of the federal government given AT&T's cozy relationship with the NSA. I'm willing to bet: any and all of it. 
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
3/1/2017 | 8:58:32 PM
Re: Curious...
IoT will be a huge opportunity for AT&T. 

We've seen how these huge telcos are now focusing on data. Well, IoT stands to be one of the largest consumers of data we have ever seen. It's going to be a huge revenue booster for companies like AT&T. 
KBode
KBode
2/28/2017 | 2:38:54 PM
Curious...
I'll be curious to see a closer CAPEX breakdown. Historically the lion's share of CAPEX isn't going to fixed residential, even with the promises of expanded gigabit fiber broadband. I still think the lion's share of that is still being aimed at housing developments where fiber is already in the ground and costs are low. 
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