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AT&T Records Best Ever Wireless Service Margin In Q3, Despite Losing 268K Postpaid Phone Subscribers

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Even though AT&T lost 268,000 postpaid phone subscribers during the third quarter of this year, the mobile operator achieved a significant milestone -- registering its best ever wireless service EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) margin in the United States market at a record 50.1 percent. AT&T attributes the loss of 268,000 postpaid phone subs mainly to subscriber losses among those users with feature phones that have lower ARPU (average revenue per user).

The carrier also gained 1.5 million total new wireless customers, increasing its wireless customer base to 133 million, representing a 6.9 million improvement compared to the previous year’s numbers. Moreover, it added 212,000 postpaid subscribers, 304,000 prepaid subscribers, and 1.3 million connected handsets in Q3. AT&T also improved its postpaid customer turnover rate from 1.16 percent in Q3 2015 to 1.05 percent in Q3 2016.

AT&T was also able to post continuing sales of smartphones for the third quarter, logging 7 million branded smartphone gross additions and upgrades in the three-month period, with 1.9 million of those consisting of prepaid smartphones. According to the wireless carrier, 83 percent of all of its postpaid smartphone gross adds and upgrades opted to avail of its Next equipment installment plans. The company also revealed that it had registered 595,000 BYOD (bring your own device) gross additions, its second best ever.

As far as revenues are concerned, AT&T posted an overall revenue of $40.9 billion, which is up 4.6 percent, with net income attributable to AT&T increasing 11.2 percent. Cash from operations for the most recent quarter amounted to $11 billion.

Although AT&T was supposed to release its latest quarterly financials this coming Tuesday, the company decided to publish them in advance, most likely in conjunction with the announcement that the carrier is looking to acquire Time Warner for a sum of $85.4 billion. If this deal is given a green light by regulators, it would basically mean AT&T gaining ownership of Time Warner’s content, which includes CNN, Warner Bros, HBO, TNT, and TBS.


Source: Fierce Wireless

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9 comments:

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  1. 50% margins are incredible. Gives you a good idea how much we're overpaying for wireless service.

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    1. Because businesses should sell us service at cost or below right?

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    2. No, they certainly should be allowed to make a profit. That margin is exactly why I use prepaid services. They're still making money on me but not 50.1%.

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    3. I personally feel a lot of their numbers come from prepaid and they don't want to admit it.

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  2. Verizon is still more expensive than AT&T. I wonder what their margins are?

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    1. Lol - you really want to know? Probably in the area of 80%. They have the "best network" after all...lol. Verizon fans will ignorantly pay more, since they think they are getting "the best". Meanwhile, their CEOs are laughing, cause their pockets are being lined with cash. "Average service with a price!" should be their tag line in reality.

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    2. They are getting the best network, objectively. Somewhat better than AT&T, a lot better than T-Mobile still, and twice as good as Sprint.

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    3. "Best" or "better" depends on where you use it. The rest is marketing trash. In my area all the others except VERIZON had coverage at least 6 years before "the best" finally got on the ball and added service. And I am not "out in the sticks", but along a main heavily used state route. Verizon is too big to move very fast, and are out of touch with reality, just like their customers.

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  3. Cricket is a better deal, I know its owned by AT&T. But for coverage and really unlimited with no throttle and no stupid contracts. Plus I can use any unlocked phone i want, currently rocking a iPhone 7.

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