AT&T May Keep Rural Landline Business

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

At a communications industry conference in New York today, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) chief Randall Stephenson may decide not to sell off the company's rural wireline assets. That would be a big switch in plans for the company, which had previously said it was considering the sale of the rural lines.

A lot may depend on whether AT&T succeeds in winning an auction for a block of spectrum on offer from Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone plc (NASDAQ: VOD). MarketWatch reports that Stephenson said that the company has a "line of sight for a broadband solution" involving its wireline operations that are not covered by the company's U-verse television and broadband service. Stephenson also said the company would provide details of its plans on November 7th.

Stephensen, still smarting from federal regulators' denial of AT&T's offer to take over T-Mobile USA, continues to rail against regulatory hurdles to selling the rural lines. He said that the telecom industry wants more consolidation but that a "lack of clarity" prevents the bigger fish from swallowing the smaller ones.

He also hinted at a next-generation version of LTE that would allow wireless service to replace wireline service in rural areas. Stephenson said:

LTE can become a fixed-line replacement or even better than what you get from fixed line.

However AT&T wouldn't support both at the same time, as regulators now require. On that issue he certainly has a valid point. High-speed, broadband, wireless service to rural parts of the U.S. may not put a lot of money cash in Ma Bell's pockets, but the company's customers would be very happy indeed.

Stephenson also said that the company still expects to sell 25 million smartphones in 2012, a number about equal to last year's sales.

Share of AT&T are up about 0.4% at $37.81 in a 52-week range of $27.41 to $38.28.

Paul Ausick


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Technology Companies, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: featured, T, VOD, VZ
Read Full Story

Markets

S&P 500 2,361.13 2.56 0.11%
DJIA 20,659.32 -42.18 -0.20%
NASDAQ 5,897.55 22.41 0.38%
DAX 12,203.00 53.58 0.44%
NIKKEI 225 19,138.37 -79.11 -0.41%
HANG SENG 24,277.76 -114.29 -0.47%
USD (per EUR) 1.08 0.00 -0.04%
USD (per CHF) 1.00 0.00 0.08%
JPY (per USD) 111.26 0.11 0.10%
GBP (per USD) 1.24 0.00 0.00%

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced 19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced
Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked
This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge