AT&T Boasts Smartphone Sales, LTE in NYC
AT&T's previous sales record was 6.1 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2010. The company still has December, typically a strong sales month, to beat that total.
Clearly, the iPhone 4S has a lot to do with these sales. Stephens did note, however, that the operator now has Long Term Evolution (LTE) smartphones for sale too. (See AT&T Readies Its First LTE Phones .)
Stephens also revealed that AT&T is turning on new LTE markets in December to hit its target of 70 million people covered with the new 4G technology by year's end. "We are in the process of turning up New York City and other additional markets this month," Stephens said. (See AT&T Hits 15 LTE Markets, Adds Another Tablet.)
This means that AT&T will beat its target of 15 cities with LTE in 2011. This is important for the carrier as it competes with Verizon Wireless and its much larger LTE footprint in the U.S. (See Verizon Sells 1.4M LTE Devices in Q3.)
The need for additional spectrum for LTE services is one of the key reasons that AT&T made its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile US Inc. this year. Stephens avoided answering any questions about what AT&T would do if -- as seems far more likely these days -- the merger bid fails. (See FCC OKs AT&T’s Merger Application Withdrawal .)
"It is important to remember why we did this deal in the first place -- for our customers," Stephens said, explaining that AT&T continues to work to close the deal.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile