AT&T announced plans to invest $1 billion in 2011 in global network-based cloud solutions. Meanwhile, executives defended their T-Mobile purchase before a Senate panel.
AT&T may be best known for its ties to the
Apple iPhone and aggressive moves in the carrier race to add new mobile
subscribers. But it very much also has its sights set on supporting
business customers. On May 10-as AT&T executives headed to
Washington, D.C., to defend their intended purchase of competitor
T-Mobile-they also announced plans to spend nearly $1 billion this year
deploying "next-generation services for businesses ranging from the
smallest firms to the world's largest and most sophisticated
will be targeting investments for government agencies and businesses in
industries such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality, health care and
automotive. The carrier said it plans to invest in five key focus areas,
"like enterprise mobility applications and cloud/as-as-service
enhancements" while rolling out "platforms, systems and e-capabilities"
to automate and simplify business practices.
"We continue to invest significantly in cloud-based, mobility and networking sourcing solutions because
customers are increasingly recognizing that transformative services like
these increase productivity, improve operational effectiveness and
lower costs," John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Business
Solutions, said in a statement.
plans to invest in five key areas for its business customers this year.
The first is mobile solutions and connected devices, and it noted that
during the first quarter alone it added 1.6 million "emerging devices"
such as tablets, netbooks and laptops, and that more than 12 million
such devices are currently connected to its network.
second area is cloud-based services, and AT&T says it has already
cloud capabilities embedded into its network, enabling it to manage and
deliver services and applications "as part of a total solution to any
a third area, global enterprise networking, will enable it to provide
more robust, secure services to its "1,700 target multinational
customers," and a fourth, small business customers, will help it to
offer simplified service bundles and faster download speeds across it
22-state broadband footprint.
following on the 2010 launch of AT&T ForHealth, it plans to
accelerate its delivery of cloud-based services and applications to the
health care industry.
On April 20, AT&T announced fiscal first quarter results that pleasantly surprised even company executives by not faltering as
much as expected, in the face of competitor Verizon Wireless offering an
Apple iPhone 4 of its own. During the quarter, AT&T announced
profits of $3.4 billion on consolidated revenues of $31.2 billion, sold
5.5 million smartphones and added 2 million new wireless subscribers.
subscriber growth, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement,
was part of why it is working to acquire T-Mobile, whose spectrum would
help AT&T to "simultaneously address spectrum issues created by
this increased demand and improve customers' network experience as
volumes continue to grow."
from AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint-which has actively come out
against the purchase plan, saying it would devastate its ability to
compete in the market-submitted to questions from a Senate Judiciary
subcommittee May 10, regarding the deal. Gigaom's Stacey Higginbotham, who was at the trial, reported that, "the CEOs of
AT&T and T-Mobile appeared to weasel out of attempts to get them to
discuss confusing statements or get them to swear that prices would go
down for consumers as a result of this deal."
added that Stephenson confirmed that T-Mobile prepaid customers will
get to keep their plans, and T-Mobile postpaid customers-who have
feared a price hike-will be able to keep their plans if they upgrade
to a comparable phone.
deal needs to be approved by a number of federal regulatory bodies and
isn't expected to reach a conclusion before the year's end.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.