AT&T CEO Stephenson seeking to extend iPhone exclusivity, put focus on wireless

AT&T CEO Stephenson seeking to extend iPhone exclusivity, put focus on wireless
With the contract between Apple and AT&T, giving the latter firm the exclusive U.S. rights to the iPhone, set to expire next year, both sides are negotiating on a one year extension. That news comes from no better a source than AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson who spoke to the WSJ. The 48 year old CEO has been working hard to keep Apple's touchscreen handset out of the hands of rival carriers, and while rumors of a Verizon branded version of the smartphone do come up time to time, even Apple seems pleased with the current relationship with Stephenson's firm.

The executive also has decided to make wireless the priority for AT&T as the current economic conditions have hit the landline business hard. 12,000 jobs will be slashed this year and the company has cut capital spending by 15%. In the meantime, $18.8 billion dollars has been spent on purchasing radio spectrum and smaller cellphone companies. Subsidizing the price of the iPhone has cost the firm more than $1.3 billion dollars. Still, money has to be spent on beefing up wireless capacity as the CEO expects newer smartphone models to swamp current networks with their ever increasing abilities to request data and multimedia. As a result, two-thirds of the carrier's capital spending over the next five years will go to wireless network investments and acquisitions.

source: WSJ

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