AT&T CEO warns of ‘downward proclivity’ in network spending
AT&T promised that it would offer lowband 5G nationwide this summer – the operator said it has already expanded the offering to cover 120 million people in 190 markets – but executives warned that the operator’s network spending could slow due to the pandemic.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said Wednesday during his company’s quarterly conference call with analysts that the operator’s capital expenses could be affected by widespread stay-at-home orders. “It’s not just writing checks for capex. There’s people out doing things,” he said, explaining that some technicians may not be able to visit cell sites due to the spread of COVID-19, while some local officials may not be able to issue cell site construction permits.
“While we have no intention of slowing down on 5G and fiber deployment, the reality is that a lot of it is not in our control,” Stephenson said. “So there’s probably going to be – relative to the targets we gave you in capex – some downward proclivity on that number, just because of the logistical issues we’re running into.”
AT&T declined to provide any financial guidance for the remainder of 2020 due to the pandemic. The operator spent roughly $5 billion in capex during its most recent quarter, slightly above some Wall Street estimates.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, AT&T said it would spend around $20 billion on capex throughout 2020, which is way down from the $23 billion it spent in 2019 and the $22 billion that most Wall Street analysts had expected AT&T to spend in 2020.
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.