AT&T's Wild About Wireless

CHICAGO -- NXTComm -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson unveiled a new video sharing service for mobile users this morning during his keynote address here. The service will allow consumers talking on cellphones to share cameraphone pictures during their conversation, in real-time.

For now, the service is only available in San Antonio, Dallas, and Atlanta, but it will expand to other markets next month. AT&T also says it plans to expand it to the "other two screens" meaning the TV and the PC.

"The new AT&T is a wireless-centric company," said Stephenson.

At the forefront of AT&T's wireless marketing is the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone. AT&T is betting strongly that it will be a huge hit and said it is currently training hundreds of new workers at each of its wireless stores to handle the inevitable rush of customers when it goes on sale June 29.

The company says it has received over a million phone calls asking about the iPhone and that 40 percent of these calls were from non-AT&T customers looking to switch service providers. [Ed. note: Apple should note that's about 10 percent of its 10 million phone target.]

Stephenson also discussed AT&T's U-verse broadband service, saying that the carrier is doing 600 U-Verse installs a day and is expecting to be doing 10,000 per week by the end of this year, which would be quite a rampup considering the last reported subscriber base to the service was around 30,000.

Stephenson also pointed out that his company has pledged to spend over $2 billion on network upgrades in states that pass statewide video franchise legislation. Most recently AT&T committed $500 million to the state of Ga. in response to its passing of such a law. (See State Video Franchise Push Grows.) It is currently lobbying Ill. to be the next state to adopt franchise reform.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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