AT&T announced plans to invest $14 billion over the next three years to significantly expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks to support growing customer demand for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud services.
The investment plan - Project Velocity IP (VIP) - expands AT&T's high-potential growth platforms, helping drive continued increases in revenues from existing and new products and services, and earnings per share.
"This is a major commitment to invest in 21st Century communications infrastructure for the United States and bring high-speed Internet connectivity - 4G LTE mobile and wireline IP broadband - to millions more Americans," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "We have the opportunity to improve AT&T's revenue growth and cost structure for years to come, and create substantial value for shareowners.
"Revenues in our key growth areas - wireless data, U-verse and strategic business services - are all growing at a strong double-digit rate. Project VIP expands our potential in these key platforms and makes them available to many more customers," Stephenson said.
"With our strong balance sheet, these capital investments are manageable. We are very confident in our ability to execute this plan. These are things we've done before - logical extensions of proven technologies and already successful businesses.
"Given our confidence in our industry and in our future, today we increased our quarterly dividend for the 29th straight year. I'm confident we can continue to deliver for our owners as we invest to position AT&T for stronger growth in the years ahead," Stephenson said.
AT&T's Project VIP consists of several individual wireless and wireline initiatives:
- 4G LTE network expansion expected to cover 300 million people by year-end 2014
- Wired IP broadband network expected to expand to 75 percent of customer locations in AT&T's 22-state wireline service area by year-end 2015
- Fiber deployment expected to reach 1 million additional business customer locations, covering 50 percent of multi-tenant office buildings in AT&T's wireline service area by year-end 2015
- 99 percent of customer locations in wireline service area expected to have high-speed IP Internet access via IP wireline and/or 4G LTE