AT&T CEO: We'll Move Faster to 5G Because of Time Warner Deal
AT&T's proposed buyout of Time Warner will accelerate its deployment of 5G rather than acting as a drag on its deployment plans, the CEO says.
"We would probably have a desire to move faster on 5G, certainly not slower," AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) CEO Randall Stephenson said on a call on Monday.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has previously said that it expects to start a "friendly" fixed 5G trial at the end of 2016. Execs expect initial deployments will be about fixed broadband to the home, though, with 2020 still seen as the tee-off date for commercial mobile deployments. (See AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End.)
"It's a logistical issue right?" the CEO asked, rhetorically, adding that getting standards in place and the vendor community on the case will be crucial for giving 5G a kick in the RAN. [Ed note: That's Radio Access Network, for the uninitiated.] The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has said it expects the initial 5G New Radio (5G NR) specification to be ready in June 2018. (See 3GPP Wants to Complete Initial 5G Radio Spec in June 2018.)
AT&T's CFO said on the call that if and when the Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) deal closes -- expected by the end of 2017 -- it will bring in new revenue streams and encourage AT&T to deploy faster networks to facilitate the video-over-anything concept behind this buyout. "It brings us a lot more financial flexibility... or revenue enhancements and growth that will allow us to fund 5G," the CFO said.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading