Jan 5 AT&T Inc (T.N) is on track to finish its wireless network upgrade with faster mobile Web services by the end of 2013, having exceeded its target for 2011, a top executive said.
By the end of last year the company had extended its new high-speed service to markets of 74 million people, surpassing its previous target of 70 million, John Stankey, AT&T's head of business solutions, said at a conference on Thursday.
Cities such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles now have access to the "blazing fast" network, he said.
The No. 2 U.S. mobile operator has been lagging Verizon Wireless in offering services based on a technology known as Long Term Evolution, which the larger rival has been offering since late 2000.
AT&T had hoped to bring new services more quickly to customers with its plans to buy Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE) T-Mobile USA for $39 billion but the deal fell apart at the close of 2011 due to fierce regulatory opposition.
The deal would have allowed AT&T to vault to the top position in the U.S. mobile market, leapfrogging market leader Verizon Wireless - a venture of Verizon Communications (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L)
"It's unfortunate we didn't get it done," Stankey said.
"Now we have to go back to run a different set of plays," he said, adding that the company would continue to evaluate spectrum markets.
(Reporting By Nicola Leske; editing by Mark Porter)
((Nicola.Leske@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 646 223 6134)(Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)) Keywords: AT&T/
(C) Reuters 2011 All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing, or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.
Our top photos from the last 24 hours.