Video services

U-verse Growth Slows

4:10 PM -- It was second-quarter earnings day at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Thursday, and, looking across the Atlantic waters, EuroBlog noticed plenty of huff and puff about "strong wireless growth" and "continued cost discipline." (See AT&T Closes Q2.)

Behind the scenes, though, there were some numbers and trends that didn't feature so high up on AT&T's presentations.

First, the upfront costs of launching the new iPhone ate into the carrier's profits, though that downside was tempered by the fact it sold 2.4 million of the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) devices during the quarter. (See AT&T's Q2 Profit Lowered by iPhone Launch.)

Second, AT&T didn't add as many U-verse customers as it had during the first quarter.

In the three months to the end of June, the operator increased its U-verse customer base by 248,000, taking the total to 1,577,000. That's a healthy increase of more than 1 million compared with the 549,000 users it had at the end of June 2008 for its IPTV service.

However, AT&T added 284,000 U-verse users during the first quarter of this year, and 264,000 during the fourth quarter of last year, so U-verse growth slowed down during the second quarter.

That's a downwards trend worth watching, and one that AT&T will want to turn around.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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