AT&T CEO: SDN Will Drive Innovation, ‘Truly’ Deliver TV Everywhere

Software defined networking (SDN) technology, mobile video and the “reskilling” of its workforce will drive transformative innovation at AT&T over the next five years, top executives told analysts earlier this week.

Here are some highlights from the Industry Analyst Summit that AT&T held in Dallas.

CEO Randall Stephenson: 

Think of how the world has changed in 8 years. it’s been really, really radical. And it’s been impressive, and it’s been fun to kind of be at the vanguard of it. Not all the time was it pleasant. But where we are now, reflecting back, this has been one of the most exciting times I’ve ever been through in my career. But I believe the next 5 years are going to move farther and faster than what the last 8 years did.

And where this is going in terms of software defined networks and what this does to the pace of innovation in our industry. And what happens – you truly begin to delivery TV everywhere.

John Stankey, AT&T Entertainment & Internet CEO

We bought DirecTV because it gave us a tremendous amount of scale and capability in the video entertainment space, and great employees and expertise in how we distribute and market in that space. The trick is to use that great strength and value proposition that they’ve built to to marry it with the capabilities of AT&T, and arrive in a different place.

As we move forward over the next three years, that’s we’re betting — that bet on integration and ease for the customer.

Ralph de la Vega, CEO, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions

There’s an explosion of video going on – an absolute explosion, and that video is getting played more and more where? On mobile devices. What do you need to play video on mobile devices? Connectivity, bandwidth. Do you need more of it? Yes. A little more? No. A lot more.

John Donovan, senior EVP, AT&T Technology & Operations

Our workforce has to change. We’re not training our workforce. We’re reskilling the workforce. Move from an outside plant engineer to a big data scientist. We’ve had to focus on getting the breadth of their knowledge much greater. Even if you do a great job today, you have to know what your job is mapped to in the future, and you have to create your capabilities from there.