AT&T Reveals $21-$22 bn Capital Investment for 2024

Telecommunications giant AT&T disclosed its capital investment plans for the year 2024, signaling a strategic financial approach.
AT&T 5G businessAT&T anticipates a capital investment ranging between $21 billion and $22 billion, demonstrating a slight decrease from the $23.6 billion invested in 2023.

AT&T shifts to new lower-cost ORAN technology, or open radio access network. It chose Ericsson, opens new tab in December to build a telecom network using ORAN that would cover 70 percent of its wireless traffic in the U.S. by late 2026 and could cost as much as $14 billion.

For the fourth quarter of 2024, AT&T reported capital expenditures of $4.6 billion, with a total capital investment, inclusive of $1.0 billion in cash payments for vendor financing, reaching $5.6 billion. The full-year capital expenditures amounted to $17.9 billion, with the overall capital investment, including $5.7 billion in cash payments for vendor financing, totaling $23.6 billion.

Noteworthy advancements in AT&T’s infrastructure were highlighted, with the mid-band 5G spectrum now covering over 210 million people by the end of December 2023. Furthermore, the fiber network, currently passing 26 million consumer and business locations, is on track to extend its reach to over 30 million locations by the close of 2025.

In terms of financial expectations, AT&T projects a 3 percent growth in wireless service revenue, a robust 7 percent growth in broadband revenue, and a 3 percent increase in Adjusted EBITDA, AT&T said in its earnings report.

Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights:

During the fourth quarter, AT&T’s revenues totaled $32.0 billion, reflecting a 2.2 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. This growth was driven by higher Mobility revenues, supplemented by gains in Mexico and Consumer Wireline revenues. However, Business Wireline revenues experienced continued declines.

Operating expenses for Q4 amounted to $26.8 billion, a significant reduction from the year-ago quarter’s $52.4 billion. This decrease was attributed to non-cash goodwill impairment charges in the prior year and the benefits of transformation efforts, including lower personnel costs in 2023.

AT&T reported an operating income of $5.3 billion for the fourth quarter, a substantial improvement from the operating loss of $21.1 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

It added 526,000 net monthly bill-paying wireless phone subscribers

Full-Year Financial Results:

For the full year, AT&T’s revenues totaled $122.4 billion, marking a 1.4 percent increase from 2022. This growth was primarily fueled by higher revenues from Mobility, Mexico, and Consumer Wireline, partially offset by lower Business Wireline revenues.

Operating expenses for the year amounted to $99.0 billion, significantly lower than the $125.3 billion in 2022, primarily due to non-cash goodwill impairment charges in the prior year and ongoing transformation efforts.

AT&T posted an operating income of $23.5 billion for the full year, a notable turnaround from the operating loss of $4.6 billion in 2022.

The company reported a total of 19,000 broadband gains, excluding DSL, with AT&T Fiber net additions of 273,000 and AT&T Internet Air net additions of 67,000, offsetting other non-fiber losses. AT&T remains optimistic about its financial trajectory and strategic initiatives as it navigates the evolving landscape of the telecommunications industry.