The following blog post may be attributed to John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President—AT&T Technology and Network Operations. Visit the blog at www.attinnovationspace.com.
Running year-end numbers that show the same result as previous years is typically a sign of stability.
But when the year-end numbers show a doubling of wireless data traffic from 2010 to 2011 – and you’ve seen at least a doubling every year since 2007 – the implications are profound.
Over the past five years, AT&T’s wireless data traffic has grown 20,000%.
The growth is now driven primarily by smartphones. Add to that new customer additions and the continuing trend of upgrades from feature phones to smartphones, and you have a wireless data tsunami.
It’s a global phenomenon, as also detailed by Cisco today with the release of their annual Visual Network Index forecast.
At AT&T, we’re addressing the challenge by investing to drive service improvements. AT&T has invested more than $95 billion in its wireless and wireline networks over the past five years. In 2011, we invested $20 billion in our networks, and completed more than 150,000 wireless network improvements. And we expect to invest about $20 billion again in 2012 with a focus on wireless, including more 4G LTE deployment, the roll-out of distributed antenna systems in key venues across the U.S. and adding even more AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network.