AT&T revealed plans to spend up to $8 billion to deploy key C-Band (3.7GHz to 4.2GHz) spectrum recently won at auction, and hiked subscriber targets for its HBO Max streaming service.
During an analyst meeting, executives noted AT&T nearly doubled its mid-band holdings with the addition of 80MHz of C-Band spectrum, committing a total of $27.4 billion to the purchase including winning bids and expected clearing costs.
AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said deployment of the spectrum will begin late this year “as it becomes available”. The operator expects to cover 70 million to 75 million people with C-Band by end-2022 and more than 100 million by early 2023.
It plans to spend between $6 billion and $8 billion on the rollout, with the majority of this expected between 2022 and 2024.
Earlier this week, rival Verizon stated it expects to cover 100 million people within 12 months.
AT&T’s plan to expand its HBO Max video streaming service involves a push beyond the US to 60 new markets this year, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar explained.
He said AT&T now expects HBO Max to hit between 120 million and 150 million subscribers by 2025, up from a previous target of 75 million to 90 million.
Kilar added the high end of its new range does not include expected subscribers from a handful of key markets including the UK, Germany, Italy and Australia, stating these offered additional room for growth.