American wireless carrier AT&T on Friday said its Capex (capital spending) for 2015 will be nearly $18 billion against an earlier estimate of $20 billion.
Earlier, AT&T said the Capex plan for the next current year will depend on tax extenders that will be passed in the post-election session of the Congress.
In fact, AT&T, which competes with Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, had earlier reduced its Capex to nearly $20 billion annually for 2014 and 2015 from $22 billion.
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On October 22, AT&T said its Capex for the first nine months was $17 billion and $5.2 for the third quarter of 2014. AT&T’s main investment focus areas were LTE 4G network expansion to focus on mobile data revenue.
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The telecom major said its Project VIP network investment plan is ahead of schedule by completing the expansion of its 4G LTE network that covers more than 300 million people in the United States. It also completed the roll out of wired high-speed Internet service to 57 million U.S. customer locations. AT&T has deployed fiber connections to 600,000 of its planned 1 million multi-tenant U.S. business locations.
AT&T said its VIP-related capital investment levels will peak in 2014. As a result, AT&T expects its 2015 capital expenditure budget for its existing businesses to be in the $18 billion range. This will bring the company’s Capex as a percent of total revenues to the mid-teens level — consistent with its historical capital spending levels.
In a statement AT&T said its 2015 Capex guidance does not affect the company’s commitment, when it closes its acquisition of DIRECTV, to begin enhancing and expanding its U.S. broadband network to 15 million customer locations, primarily in rural areas.