AT&t said on Thursday it will repair 2 million cars in 2019, a sign that the wireless carrier is returning to its roots after being the No. 3 company in 2017.
The company, which last year reported a net loss of $6.4 billion, has been trying to make amends with customers and customers of its former parent company, Comcast Corp., which bought it for $85 billion in 2008.
AT&TS chief executive Gary D. Roberts said the new program is aimed at “building up our fleet of service providers.”
AT&Ts goal is to get cars serviced in two years, Roberts said, and not a month or two.
AT &ts fleet is “full of customers that we’re trying to keep,” Roberts said in an interview.
“It’s our belief that this is going to help us to grow our fleet faster.”
AT &t has been struggling to keep pace with rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast.
Verizon said in February it was pulling out of the U.S. after years of service cuts.
AT.com also has struggled to keep up with competition from Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. AT users have complained of slow service in recent months.
The Wall St. Journal first reported AT&ts plans to begin servicing cars in October.
AT said it will spend about $500 million to begin that work.
AT’s announcement comes as AT&tg has been expanding its fleet of automotive service providers.
It will begin leasing new cars and trucks to other service providers, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. AT had said it planned to hire more than 5,000 people by the end of 2019 to run its fleet.
AT was already investing in new services for its service providers and was looking to add more.
AT has a $30 billion acquisition commitment from Tesla Motors Inc., the biggest U.K. car maker, to build a fleet of self-driving cars.
AT is also buying a significant portion of Tesla, including about 90% of its fleet, to bolster its self-parking service.
ATs acquisition of Tesla also includes a stake in Lyft Inc., which has grown into the largest ride-hailing service in the world, and a stake that allows the company to access more than 1 million drivers from a single vehicle.
AT and Lyft have also been trying unsuccessfully to get a deal with Uber Technologies Inc., a rival to Uber.
The companies have clashed on several occasions.
AT will acquire Uber as part of a $1.6 billion acquisition in 2019.
AT says it will provide its existing self-service cars, trucks and vans to Uber, but the ride-sharing service will still need to be in business for AT to operate.
AT already owns about 3% of Uber, which it says is one of the most valuable brands in the auto industry.
AT shares rose more than 10% to $52.40.