Whether it's integrating wireless with the home, the car or a business, AT&T Mobility says its focus is on creating value for users and less about battling competitors like T-Mobile US and Sprint on just price. Phil Goldstein, editor of FierceWireless, talked to AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher during the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) about rising competition in the wireless market, as well as opportunities in the connected car and the home automation markets.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors about as clearly as he could that the carrier is not going to snap up assets that América Móvil is going to divest, and will instead focus on growing its business in Mexico via its acquisitions of Iusacell and NII Holdings' Nextel Mexico businesses.
AT&T reported the addition of 73,000 U-verse TV subscribers in the fourth quarter, a significant decline from the 194,000 added in the same period of 2013. In its full year and Q4 earnings call with investors Tuesday, the conglomerate attributed the decline to a "strategic move to improve profitability" by concentrating on subscribers with lower churn rates.
AT&T reported that U-verse was the star performer in the wireline portfolio, rising 21.9 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2014, driving up residential wireline revenues slightly 0.1 percent to $5.6 billion.
AT&T Mobility beat analysts' expectations in terms of subscriber growth for the fourth quarter, but saw churn rise amid intensifying competition. AT&T also saw its margins drop in the quarter, as had been expected.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, AT&T announced that it would open up its Digital Life home automation and security platform to third-party products. The company also launched its M2X Data Service platform for the Internet of Things as a commercial product, and the carrier unveiled a rollover data plan. At CES, FierceWireless Editor Phil Goldstein caught up with AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher to talk about rising competition in the wireless market, opportunities in the connected car and home markets, and more. Here is an edited version of that conversation.
AT&T is getting lots of wireless spectrum in Mexico on the cheap by buying bankrupt NII Holdings' Mexican wireless assets, according to financial analysts. And AT&T might not stop there and could look to bulk up its position in Mexico by acquiring assets that former partner América Móvil is going to divest, according to the analysts and other industry sources.
Don't expect the announcement of Cablevision's Freewheel Wi-Fi-only phone service to spin Randall Stephenson into reenacting the bunker scene from Downfall when AT&T delivers its fourth-quarter earnings report Tuesday afternoon. Freewheel is not a threat of any kind to the incumbent wireless industry.
The Obama administration has decided to rethink a proposal to employ a third-party, non-government entity to gather U.S. telephone call data currently collected by the National Security Agency, reports Reuters, citing unnamed security official sources.
CenturyLink has made a plea to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee to reform the 1992 Cable Act so new entrants in the video services race can more effectively negotiate prices for content.