AT&T CEO: We'll Move Faster to 5G Because of Time Warner Deal

Dan Jones
10/26/2016

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.)


For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site here on Light Reading.


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

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kq4ym
kq4ym
11/9/2016 | 11:02:42 AM
Re: Promises, promises...
With one of the "promises" being ready to "start a "friendly" fixed 5G trial at the end of 2016. Execs expect initial deployments will be about fixed broadband to the home." What's going on with that or was that something that was just blue sky or hype?
DanJones
DanJones
11/1/2016 | 12:44:45 AM
Re: A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
Samsung mobile will still deliver the actual commercial 5G handsets though. Not that it makes a difference to the man or woman on the street, it's all one Samsung to them.
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
10/31/2016 | 6:23:20 PM
Re: A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
DanJones

"Samsung will have to get over the Note 7 disaster to start with"

Samsung 5G is being developed by Samsung Networks, not Samsung Mobile.

As for Note 7, Samsung insiders claim the world would forget about the Note 7 when the Galaxy S8 launches, the world's first full frontal display phone with the fingerprint sensor built into the screen.
DanJones
DanJones
10/31/2016 | 5:43:41 PM
Re: A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
We'll see won't we, Samsung will have to get over the Note 7 disaster to start with. Smartphones aren't usually the first devices arriving when a new network arrives.
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
10/31/2016 | 5:18:58 PM
Re: A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
Dan Jones

"one of the bottlenecks to early mobile 5G service is quite likely to be device availability."

Not with Samsung 5G and Chinese 5G, they would have 5G phones ready on Day 1.

KT and SK Telecom announced that they were going to go ahead with the nationwide launch of 28 Ghz Samsung 5G network in 2019, one year ahead of previous target. The progress on both basestation and Galaxy phones would enable this deployment acceleration.

I don't know when this low-band 5G NR from Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm would be launching, since both Chinese and Koreans are not taking it. That leaves Japan's Docomo and KDDI as sole remaining early launch possibilities, as they pledged to have some kind of 5G ready by the Tokyo Olympics.

Except for the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE, the rest are just phone assemblers unable to do real engineering from scratch.
DanJones
DanJones
10/31/2016 | 1:30:44 PM
Re: A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
Well they better buy a phone maker too then! Seriously though, one of the bottlenecks to early mobile 5G service is quite likely to be device availability.
Magnets-are-cool
Magnets-are-cool
10/27/2016 | 7:29:21 PM
A media company that has access to your usage records, will allow the telco to align it's growth plans to match media
Moving to 5G costs money. Lots of it.

Obviously AT&T believe that there is additional revenue to be had from this deal.

Actually, if you line this up with their SDN / SD-WAN / technology plays, you can almost see that this will give them better visibility over planned demand for bandwidth.

AT&T will now be privy to and be a significant decision makers on regions / localities on which to launch media campaigns. And align these to areas where they can easily manage bandwidth. Hyper-localised marketing anyone?

No longer will they be surprised by the next HBO hit requiring $1B of bandwidth upgrades, yesterday.

Media companies want to know who is watching what, and where, and what platforms and how much and a whole lot of other personal data. This is data that organised telco players have. AT&T can really target specific demographics with media campaigns.

And if these target demographics are those people with new phones, with high bandwidth, well then, AT&T just might need to roll out 5G faster for this market.
DanJones
DanJones
10/26/2016 | 2:12:45 PM
Re: err...
Could be! Good to have on the record either way I think.
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
10/26/2016 | 12:26:30 PM
First Samsung 5G phone call completed
http://www.telecompaper.com/news/kt-samsung-demo-5g-connection-through-5g-networks--1168859

KT, Samsung demo 5G connection through 5G networks


Wednesday 26 October 2016 | 11:09 CET | News

South Korean operator KT and Samsung Electronics have announced they have established and demonstrated a 5G connection through a network built from 5G technologies. The test took place in Suwon, South Korea at Samsung Electronics' Digital City Campus. The proof of concept by KT and Samsung used the PyeongChang 5G Special Interest Group (SIG) common specification.

During today's test, which made use of 28 GHz spectrum, KT and Samsung showcased full synchronization of wireless links, assignment of IP addresses to devices, implementation of security protocols and internet access delivered devices via a 5G virtualized core network.
inkstainedwretch
inkstainedwretch
10/26/2016 | 12:16:23 PM
Promises, promises...
Stephenson added he will also probably be handing out frozen turkeys at schools that lack broadband connections.

Yeah, what everyone already said -- AT&T has a history of making promises they never fully keep in exchange for official approval of mergers.

-- Brian Santo
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