AT&T smashes 100m mobile subscriber barrier; revenues drop 0.3% to USD31.5bn

21 Oct 2011

US telco AT&T has reported consolidated revenues of USD31.5 billion for the three months ended 30 September 2011, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the same period a year earlier, bringing to an end a hot streak which saw the telco achieve six consecutive quarters with a year-on-year revenue increase. Wireless sales accounted for the lion’s share of revenues in 3Q11, rising 2.8% to USD15.6 billion; wireless data revenues, including SMS, rose 18.0% year-on-year to USD5.6 billion. Elsewhere, fixed line voice revenues dropped 2.2% to USD15.0 billion. Net income for the quarter slumped from USD12.3 billion to USD3.6 billion, although AT&T notes that the earlier figure included a one-time gain from a tax settlement, and also the sale of business-to-business solutions firm Sterling Commerce.

In operational terms, AT&T Wireless added a net 2.12 million new customers, quarter-on-quarter, for a total of 100.7 million at the end of September. Of the new additions 319,000 were post-paid subscribers, and 293,000 were pre-paid. Of the remainder, 473,000 were attributed to resellers, and a further 1.038 million subscriber accounts were classified as ‘connected devices’. Post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 1.4% to USD63.7 per month, representing the eleventh consecutive quarter displaying a year-on-year increase. On the fixed line side, residential voice connections dropped from 43.7 million to 41.9 million year-on-year, whilst AT&T’s ‘U-verse’ high speed broadband service saw fixed line broadband connections increase by 504,000 to finish the quarter with 4.6 million, helping to offset DSL losses. Around 70% of AT&T broadband customers are signed up to a plan offering transmission speeds of 3Mbps or above.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson commented: ‘Mobile broadband growth continues to be robust, execution was strong across the business, and we delivered another solid quarter. Smartphones, connected devices and tablets all posted impressive gains. Our first Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G markets are up and running with terrific speeds, and we continue to work toward a successful completion of our planned T-Mobile USA merger. The next waves in the mobile internet revolution represent tremendous growth potential, and we are laying the groundwork required for that future’.

United States, AT&T