AT&T has 7 million usage-based pricing subscribers
AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) currently has 7 million mobile broadband subscribers on usage-based data pricing plans, and the company considers its transition to the new pricing structure a success six months after its unveiled the changes, AT&T CFO Rick Lindner said.
Lindner said some first-time smartphone buyers selected the company's $15 price point, which provides 200 MB of data per month, but that the "vast majority" of subscribers who have usage-based plans are on the high-tier 2 GB of data for $25 per month.
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Lindner said the carrier's elimination of unlimited data pricing plans has been a success for both customers and the company, and that AT&T has not seen a significant drop in average revenue per user as a result of the change. AT&T's postpaid average revenue per subscriber was $62.84 in the third quarter, up from $62.63 in the second quarter and up from $61.61 in third quarter of 2009. The carrier counted 33.5 million postpaid integrated devices in its base of 92.8 million total connections at the end of the third quarter.
The new plans give AT&T greater flexibility as applications and services evolve, Lindner said. "It gives us a model where we can increase data usage and data revenues with that usage over time, and add additional tiers over time as warranted," he said.
In the months following AT&T's introduction of tiered pricing, both Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA have launched similar offerings.
Lindner also addressed continued speculation that AT&T will lose its exclusive right to carry Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone early next year. He said that even in the midst of all of the speculation, AT&T recorded record iPhone activations in the third quarter. He said the company will continue to diversify its smartphone lineup as well as evolve its wireless radio networks.
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