AT&T CEO Says Mobile And Wi-Fi Usage Has Skyrocketed Due To COVID-19 Outbreak
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was recently on CNN's Reliable Sources talking about the surge in mobile and Wi-Fi usage during the coronavirus outbreak. Stephenson says that the AT&T network has seen a significant uptick since companies began asking employees to work from home, and schools moved students to online learning during the coronavirus outbreak. According to Stephenson, mobile volumes are up as much as 40 percent.
The executive also said that Wi-Fi calling volume in particular was up 100 percent. Stephenson says that the network infrastructures are "performing quite well," but he does say that the network is seeing some stress as more and more people are pushed to work from home. This has resulted in the company having to perform network augmentation in some areas.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on broadband and internet demand as more people work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak: "We’re seeing some signs of stress. We’re having to go out and do some of augmentation of network … but right now the network is performing quite well.” pic.twitter.com/6IDS6RAjJ7— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) March 22, 2020
Many believe that after the coronavirus crisis has passed, companies around the world will realize that remote working is a feasible and viable alternative to larger offices and forcing employees to commute. Stephenson said in his interview that with so many people working from home the future of work may change completely. The executive also noted that AT&T alone has 90,000 employees currently working from home.
Some believe that the coronavirus outbreak could be the push needed to force mobile and broadband carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others to drop data caps altogether. It will be hard for these companies to claim overages are required to help prevent network congestion when things appear to be operating smoothly with the crush of people working from home. AT&T has pledged to suspend data caps and won't terminate service for residential or small business customers, along with waving late fees incurred due to the economic effects of the virus. Stephenson also noted that AT&T would continue to invest in 5G and new technology once the current crisis passes.