AT&T reveals new milestones in its 5G and fiber business

AT&T, which has invested more than $140 billion primarily in U.S. wireless and wireline networks during 2018–2022, has revealed new milestones in its 5G and fiber business.
AT&T Store SnellvilleAT&T now covers more than 2.91 million square miles. That’s an increase of about 100,000 square miles in 2022, or like covering the entire United Kingdom. AT&T’s 5G network reaches 290 million people in nearly 24,000 cities and towns across the U.S.

AT&T has increased coverage by more than 40 percent on tribal lands during 2020–2022 thanks to public-private partnerships like FirstNet and those created through the American Rescue Plan, as well as its own investment initiatives. AT&T’s service is available in places like Cherokee Nation in Kenwood, Oklahoma where people previously had to drive more than 10 miles to get mobile cell service.

As of the end of 2022, more than 150 million people could use mid-band 5G spectrum. AT&T remains on target to cover more than 200 million people with mid-band 5G by the end of 2023. AT&T also doubled the number of venues and airports with AT&T 5G+ last year to bring super-fast speeds and increased connectivity to parts of more than 50 cities and nearly 70 venues and airports in the U.S.

FirstNet covers 99 percent+ of the U.S. population, covering more first responders than any network. Public safety on FirstNet has access to 250,000+ more square miles than competing commercial network offerings. AT&T also surpassed 99 percent+ of Band 14 coverage target with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), delivering more dedicated connectivity to federal, state, tribal, territorial, urban and rural first responders.

In 2022, AT&T laid more than 60,000 miles of fiber in the U.S. alone. AT&T said fiber helps carry more than 594 petabytes of data traffic on an average day, up 23 percent year-over-year (or the equivalent of streaming nearly 40 million 2-hour long movies in HD).

Currently, AT&T Fiber is available to more households than any other fiber internet service. AT&T has passed 24 million locations – including 4 million business locations – in 100+ U.S. metros – that’s on track to pass 30+ million locations by the end of 2025.

“AT&T remains on track to pass 30 million-plus fiber locations by the end of 2025, including approximately 25 million consumer locations and 5 million business locations. The company ended 2022 with about 24 million fiber locations passed, including 4 million business locations. Of those, more than 22 million, including 3 million business locations, were sellable,” Jeff McElfresh, chief operating officer of AT&T, told investors last week.

Chris Sambar, Head of AT&T Network, said: “Society thrives on connection. Our people, resources and expertise are what’s making AT&T the best connectivity provider. These network milestones reinforce this, and we’ll continue to expand and fortify our infrastructure to give more communities – rural, urban and tribal – access to the connectivity we all rely on.”

“There has been historical underinvestment in broadband infrastructure on Tribal Nations. FirstNet, Built with AT&T is helping tackle this problem by making buildout for Tribal communities a priority,” Lynda Zambrano, Executive Director, National Tribal Emergency Management Council, said.