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AT&T Ho-Hum About 5G Residential Broadband: Just Give Them Fiber to the Home

Phillip Dampier April 26, 2018 AT&T, Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Wireless Broadband 3 Comments

AT&T admitted this week it was not excited about delivering residential broadband over 5G wireless networks, calling arguments for wireless 5G in-home broadband “a very tricky business case.”

John Stephens, AT&T’s chief financial officer, told analysts in a quarterly conference call AT&T has tested 5G wireless technology and it works from a technological standpoint, but the company isn’t sure there is a compelling business case to sell 5G technology as a home wired broadband replacement.

“We’re not as excited about the business case. It’s not as compelling yet for us as it may be for some,” Stephens said, explaining companies planning to offer 5G service will need to find extensive, existing fiber networks or construct their own in residential neighborhoods to connect each small cell 5G antenna. Where AT&T provides local phone service, it is already expanding its own fiber network to replace existing copper wire facilities.

“Frankly, if we’ve got fiber there, it may be just as effective and maybe even a better quality product to give those customers fiber-to-the-home” instead of 5G wireless service, Stephens told Wall Street.

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L. Nova
L. Nova
5 years ago

At least there is someone at AT&T with a brain to realize that wireless is not a replacement for wireline.

5 years ago

This is true, that wireline is irreplaceable. In my eyes, there’s wireline, then there’s everything else. 5G is a gimmick outside of cell phones, and there are usually small amounts of capped bandwidth for 20x the price per GB. But I wonder what AT&T will charge for fiber.. likely so much they’ll be irrelevant. That is, unless they monopolize an area, as they all try to do.

Ian Littman
Ian Littman
5 years ago

Not “will charge”. “Do charge”. Pricing varies by area. In Austin it’s $40/mo for 50M symmetric, $60/mo for 100M, $80/mo for gigabit. Lower tiers have 1TB caps. Gigabit doesn’t. In other areas IIRC prices are a bit higher; I seem to recall as much as $130/mo for gigabit and $90/mo for 100M. Which doesn’t sound so bad when you factor in that Comcast/Spectrum charge about that much for gigabit down, ~40M up over coax.

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