AT&T at Wells Fargo Conference Notes

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Scott Mair – SVP, Technology Planning & Engineering

We saw video growth by 75%

“last year we saw video growth grow by 75% as measured by gigabytes on the network. So as an industry, we always hear that 75% to 80% of video, of the data on the network in the next five years is going to be video and we’re seeing it play out. That’s exactly what we’re seeing and so it’s our responsibility to keep up with capacity.”

Spectrum is the most cost effective way to deploy capacity

“the most cost-effective way to deploy capacity is through spectrum. So that’s why that spectrum position is so important. And when you look at other LTE capabilities that I mentioned, improving spectral efficiency, improving performance of the network on the LTE roadmap is there as well.”

Millimeter wave is part of the 5G roadmap

“Millimeter Wave is a part of the roadmap that we’re going to have to have for 5G and there will be spectrum available, but again we have what we need now to get into the 5G space and grow it considerably well.”

Small cell will play a part

“small cell absolutely will play a part in the network. We start with a macro network that’s the densest out there right now and then we’ll augment with small cells. Small cells are a great way to provide capacity into areas where it’s very difficult to build cell sites and such. And as you build small cells for the LTE network, it pre-positions you for the infrastructure we’re going to need for 5G as well.”

Pushing for a change in economics at the cell tower

“anytime you see a cost stream in a business that’s growing faster than the business itself, you have to take a look at it. You have to look at the business model and say, what needs to change here and that’s what we’ve actively been doing and the model that we have today from a lot of the major players is one that when the analogy we’ve used is renting an apartment, when I rent the apartment, I’m paying a rental fee, but when I want to buy a new TV and bring it in, a new bedroom set and bring it in, I have to pay incremental dollars on my rent and keep paying. So, the rent keeps going up and the model we’re moving towards that we want to move towards is what we call a real estate model. We want to rent or lease square footage or square inches on a tower and within that space on the tower, be able to do what we need to do for our wireless infrastructure. So, we’ll put up new equipment takedown equipment and of course being limited by the structural requirements of the tower right, that’s a given, but we want to rent the space on that tower and be able to use it freely and we’ve been working with and are starting to work now with some new partners that are subscribing to that model, the real estate model with better set of economics.”