AT&T is one of the major mobile phone carriers in several countries, especially the US. At present, more and more customers are considering the paid plans for their mobile phone purchases. In other words, instead of paying for a device up front, they prefer to pay smaller sums every month. This is great news for the carrier, as it will drive second-quarter financial results.
AT&T introduced a new plan last July, and with it subscribers could make monthly device payments and could switch their phone model once a year. Being able to pay for a phone every month is great for the customer, because there are many expensive smart-phones on the market, that they simply cannot afford to pay a full price for. This move from AT&T has saved it from having to subsidize the phone, something that other carriers have to do at great cost.
In addition to this, customers are becoming more interested in Next, and it now makes up for more than 50% of carrier’s smart-phone additions (there are also plans to upgrade it in the second quarter).
AT&T also plans on letting subscribers buy more mobile data through shared-plans. Statistics show that 51% of people are postpaid customers on AT&T Mobile Share, and another 49% of the accounts have signed up for the 10GB per month (or more) option.
Customer behavioral patterns are shifting. Right now, more and more people are interested in bigger, more advanced smart-phones and better internet plans. AT&T is here to make good offers. The company also says that this new found interest in smart-phones and mobile data is beneficial for them. The company has gained over 1 million postpaid wireless subscribers during this quarter. This makes the biggest gain for the company in almost 5 years.
There is even more good news for AT&T. Aside from the new customers that it has received, the company also managed to keep its older subscribers. Postpaid churn, or customer turnover, was 0.86% (the second lowest value for U.S. carriers) says Ralph de la Vega, CEO of the company.
But how is AT&T fairing in the wireline business? It has gained 488.000 subscribers for its U-Verse high-speed broadband service in the first quarter. The service is so reliable, that over 70% of the company’s broadband clients are subscribed to it at the moment. AT&T also plans on acquiring satellite service provider DirecTV. They are still waiting for regulatory approvals, but the discussions are proceeding according to plans.
In the end, AT&T hopes to offer bundle video, voice and data services for their customers. According to John Stephens, “Service bundles are a proven winner for us”.