AT&T Inc on Tuesday said it would invest $17 billion to $18 billion through capital spending in 2009, in line with its previously announced plan to cut spending by up to about 15 percent.

The company, which had said in December that it was eliminating 12,000 jobs or 4 percent of its workforce, also promised to add nearly 3,000 jobs in growth areas this year while cutting jobs in its traditional wired phone business.

AT&T said it was adding 2,000 new jobs in its wireless, video and broadband business segments, and taking on another 1,000 workers full-time in the United States for jobs that were previously handled by outside overseas contractors.

A spokesperson said that this was part of the company's previously announced plan to move about 5,000 jobs that had been outsourced back to its U.S. internal payroll.

AT&T, which had a budget of $20.3 billion in 2008, said that about two-thirds of the 2009 budget would be used to improve its wireless and wired broadband networks.

It had said on its fourth-quarter earnings call that it would cut its capital budget by about 10 to 15 percent for 2009. Spending of $17 billion to $18 billion would represent a cut of 11 to 16 percent.

The company said that its job cuts would primarily affect workers in its wireline business, due to economic pressures and a shift among residential customers from home phone services to wireless and broadband.

Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in a statement that data traffic on its network was growing at an annual rate of about 50 percent a year.

We expect demand will only escalate when the larger economy rebounds, and AT&T's continued strong network investment will help ensure that we're fully ready to support the next wave of economic growth, he said.

The company said it would expand its U-verse video service to pass 30 million homes in 2011, up from 17 million.

AT&T also said it would expand its high-speed wireless service to another 20 new markets this year. It said it currently offers the service in nearly 350 U.S. metropolitan areas. It will add 2,100 new cell sites across the country.

AT&T shares were up $1.23 or 5.7 percent at $22.95 in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange amid a general market increase.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Gerald E. McCormick)