Blog Post

AT&T Plans Satellite Broadband, WiMAX

AT&T is dead serious about broadband, and is expanding its range of broadband offerings. AT&T Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre outlined company’s future broadband plans at the Detroit Economic Club.

* AT&T will start selling a satellite-based broadband service later this month in select rural markets in AT&T’s residential service territory, most of which are not served by landline broadband services today. AT&T will work with satellite provider WildBlue and will start selling the satellite-based non-DSL broadband service in select rural markets later in May, with potential additional market availability later in the year. WildBlue will provide all of the necessary equipment for the service.

* Whitacre confirmed that its Project Lightspeed video services will be available within three years to more than 5.5 million low-income households as part of its initial build in 41 target markets.

* AT&T is ramping up its WiMAX and other fixed wireless efforts, and is planning new deployments later this year in Texas and Nevada. AT&T already has fixed wireless service offers in Alaska, Georgia and New Jersey.

In the AT&T traditional local service area, these initiatives could help bring broadband to as many as 11.5 million additional homes and businesses, the company estimates.

The WiMAX and fixed wireless efforts from what I can see are still in the evaluation stage. (Sort of like what the old AT&T was doing except in two more states.) Some of AT&T’s new found religion could be attributed to some harsh business realities.

* UBS Research estimates that the consumer revenue growth for the Bells slowed in 1Q to 2% from 3-4% with Consumer ARPU growth declining to 3% from the recent 5-6% trend.

* Video is not a factor, up until 2009, and DSL/Broadband is the only way to keep the money flowing at a stable rate.

* In DSL, Bell retail penetration is down to roughly 66% of homes passed from 69% a year ago (vs 53% for cable MSOs.)

11 Responses to “AT&T Plans Satellite Broadband, WiMAX”

  1. The reason they can get that kind of speed is because HELLOOOOO, Japan is smaller than new england. They don’t have to worry so much about people spread out everywhere. If people don’t live in the city, they more than likely don’t own computers let alone have a need for broadband. Also, in Japan there is a fiber netowrk running everyhwere, and they get their internet for about $40-$50 A MONTH. That sucks for us because telecom companies don’t want to spend the money to upgrade networks, they just want profits. A city in Loisiana wanted it’s own fiber network because they were tired of the telecom companies dragging their feet and they had to fight tooth and nail to be allowed to even provide service to residents. I agree with those above, too much red tape and too much of the corporations being involved in the politics. Give the people what they want, cheaper High speed internet.

  2. voodoochild

    As you can tell by my email address i have wild blue service at the present time, and it has to be the worst service provider that there is. The installers half-ass installing the equipment so that in a couple of months they can come back and charge you a $95.00 house call bill. That’s not including if they have to replace any thing that the installed wrong in the first place. It seems to me that a company that is trying to corner the market on the monopoly of phone service, both home and cell, and Internet could at least partner them selves with a better provider. It seems that to me for a country that is supposed to be a democracy has reverted to a bureaucracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Clearwire and Satellite teamed up together to deliver WiMAX and Satellite would be an interesting play against the RBOC’s and the CABLES…bundle Clearwire High Speed/voip WiMax with Satellite TV and you got killer App’


    Networking: The network is ‘aware’
    CHICAGO, May 8 (UPI) — Integrating disparate data and voice networks — broadband, mobile phone and WiFi — into one unified network is promising to be a foremost technology trend in the next few years, one that could lead to totally personalized telecom services, experts tell UPI’s Networking.

    Experts at Gartner Inc., the IT research consultancy, indicate that by 2010 at least 40 percent of U.S. companies will have completely integrated their entire voice and data networks into a single network, and 95 percent of all large and mid-size firms will have at least started the process to do so. By Gene Koprowski

  5. Xander

    Its a Red Herring. Right when AT&T is lobbying HARD to get Congress to pass the Video Franchising law, to revamp USF Funding and to Kill Net Neutrality, they happen to make this announcement. Notice that the entire announcement by AT&T is all about either (1) underserved RURAL markets – rural congressmen have inordanite power when it comes to telco regulatory matters, and (2) low income individuals. Just look at the states they mention to show what good guys AT&T are…Alaska, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey. With the exception of NJ, the rest are perfect fodder for their positioning as being a concerned corporate citizen. Don’t be fooled. This is a company that can’t innovate or compete on products or services…so what do they do? Compete where they still have an advantage…in Washington.

  6. The latency on satellite VoIP makes it difficult to use. It is usable, but for most people, it requires training to adjust to the delay.

    In the United States, subsidized universal service provides affordable telephony to most locations – the remote and the rural – regardless of cost. For that reason, there is not a real market for satellite VoIP. Maybe an RV or a temporary installation that is off the grid, but probably not sustainable business numbers.

  7. cakes

    If the technology exists to deliver broadband via satellite, do you think it’s just a matter of time before satellite dish TV players (echostar, directTV) will get into the broadband/VoIP game? It’d be a three way race to deliver the triple play!

  8. How is it that Yahoo! Japan offers 1gbps and one of the biggest telco companies in America is…I’m sorry…reverting to “non-DSL broadband service” powered by an oh-so-latent satellite network? The answer isn’t poor services based on poor technology, especially if you’re looking to serve the “low-income” market.

    You can’t piggy back VoIP on satellite, you can’t really push a lot of anything that in anyway relies on uplink speed. Speaking of which, the article didn’t mention bandwidth potential…any ideas?