Light Reading
AT&T's fiber-enabled platform enjoys robust video and broadband subscriber gains in Q4, wrapping up its biggest year yet.

AT&T U-verse Ends Year Strong

Alan Breznick
1/29/2014
50%
50%

AT&T executives are not exactly impressed that Comcast finally picked up some video customers in the fall.

Scoffing at the 43,000 basic cable subscribers that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) added in the fourth quarter, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) officials highlighted U-verse's much bigger gains of 194,000 U-verse TV subscribers for the fall and 924,000 TV subs for the year. Speaking on the company's earnings call late Tuesday afternoon, they sneered at Comcast's Q4 achievement while bragging about their own video success in 2013. (See Comcast Breaks Video Sub Skid.)

"While some companies are excited about actually gaining customers, we added almost 200,000 subscribers in the quarter and nearly 1 million for the year," said AT&T CFO and senior executive vice president John Stephens. "Plus, we had our lowest TV churn ever in the fourth quarter."

With its latest video gains, AT&T now has nearly 5.5 million U-verse TV subscribers, up 20.4% from 4.5 million at the end of 2012. That total puts U-verse TV comfortably ahead of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s similar FiOS Video service, which closed last year with almost 5.3 million TV subscribers. It also solidifies U-verse's fifth place ranking among US pay TV providers, behind Comcast, DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). (See FiOS Slows But Still Grows.)

Further, the latest gains boosted U-verse TV's penetration rate to 21% of customer locations. AT&T said about two-thirds of U-verse TV customers now take three or four services from the company. "This tells us that customers not only want U-verse, but they stay with us once they get it," Stephens said.

On the broadband front, AT&T again notched one of its strongest gains yet with its U-verse Internet service, even though the telco still offers much lower maximum data speeds than Verizon's FiOS Internet and most major MSOs. AT&T reported an impressive increase of 630,000 U-verse Internet subscribers for the fourth quarter and a record total of 2.7 million subscribers for the year as it continued to convert its rapidly dwindling DSL customer base over to its newer hybrid fiber-copper platform.

Due to these latest gains, AT&T now boasts 10.4 million U-verse Internet subscribers, up 34% from 7.7 million a year earlier and well above Verizon's total of 6.1 million FiOS Internet subs. Factoring in its dwindling DSL base, AT&T still has about 14.7 high-speed residential data customers, more than all US broadband players except Comcast. U-verse now accounts for 63% of that total, up from 47% at the close of 2012.

Given that U-verse Internet's penetration rate is still relatively low, AT&T officials contend that the best is yet to come. "We believe we've hit a tipping point with U-verse Broadband," Stephens said. "With the growing base of U-verse subscribers, we feel confident that we can grow broadband subscribers even stronger this coming year."

Overall, AT&T said 10.7 million of its customers now subscribe to either one or both of its main U-verse products. The average monthly revenue generated by its triple-play subs is more than $170.

AT&T reported that total U-verse consumer revenues climbed to $12 billion in 2013, up 27% from $9.7 billion a year ago. U-verse's residential products now account for 57% of the company's consumer wireline revenues, up from 46% a year earlier.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2014 | 11:16:27 PM
Re: Business services
Good point. Funny how that never came up on the call, Dan. Must've slippeed their minds.  
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2014 | 9:36:49 PM
Business services
Were AT&T officials also sneering at the recent successes with business customers that Comcast and other cable TV firms have enjoyed?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive