Estimated Cost to Fix AT&T’s Wireless Network? $5 to $7 Billion – Ouch

Poor AT&T. Verizon’s commercials continue to make unflattering comparisons between their 3G network reach. Bloggers, other tech commentators, and many of is own customers (based on satisfaction surveys) continue to heap waves of disdain on it. And now, according to PC World, the director of research at TownHall Investment Research reports that…

Analyst: AT&T Needs to Spend US$5B to Catch up

Catch up with who? Verizon, of course. In fact, later in the article that $5 billion dollar catch-up gap balloons to $7 billion to include upgrading the core wired network connecting AT&T to the Internet.

However, it may not make sense for AT&T to spend those billions of dollars to fix their network if they are at risk of potentially losing millions of customers later this year if Apple makes the iPhone (or more likely its 4th generation successor) through a second U.S. wireless carrier (like Verizon).

Verizon, on the other hand, may want to save its nickels and dimes to upgrade its own network if millions of iPhone users start pounding on its 3G network this summer. The public perception table could turn quickly in a bad way for Verizon if they are not prepared for massive wireless data access.