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AT&T Bets Big On Satellite Broadband, WiMAX

The AT&T launch yesterday of a satellite Internet broadband service points the way to the company's future. It sees the handwriting on the wall -- there's no way to make money by selling voice, and broadband competition is fierce. So it's betting that broadband wireless and VoIP will help it survive in increasingly competitive times.
AT&T partnered with the WildBlue satellite broadband service to launch "AT&T High Speed Internet Access, powered by WildBlue," yesterday. By itself, the product isn't particularly groundbreaking. It's aimed at rural and remote areas in AT&T's 13-state local residential service area.

AT&T recently announced several WiMAX deployments, and other fixed wireless broadband rollouts as well. A press release AT&T sent out as part of the WildBlue introduction makes clear that the company is betting big on wireless. It notes, "These technologies show substantial potential for delivery of a range of networking services -- such as voice over IP, Internet access, and private business network access -- over broadband wireless connections."

Notice the way the company slipped VoIP into that list? If it thought its future was about phone service, it certainly wouldn't be touting VoIP as an application to ride on top of broadband wireless.

So expect to hear a lot more from AT&T about wireless, and next to nothing about voice, unless it's VoIP.