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AT&T Posts 2.8 Million Wireless Customer Net Additions During Q4 2016

AT&T has just released its most recent quarterly report, and the wireless carrier has managed to record 2.8 million wireless customer net additions during the last three months of 2016. The 2.8 million net adds consisted of 1.5 million customers based in the United States and 1.3 million based in Mexico. The US additions included 520,000 postpaid, 406,000 prepaid, and 1.27 million connected device subscribers, however AT&T lost 672,000 reseller (primarily MVNO)  customers

Looking into AT&T’s numbers for the US wireless market, the company added 1.1 million branded smartphone devices to its already formidable subscriber base (second only to industry leader Verizon Wireless). The wireless carrier also posted its best ever customer turnover rate in postpaid, recording an overall postpaid churn rate of 1.1 percent for the quarter. Narrowing that down to postpaid phones only, AT&T’s churn was 0.98 percent. During Q4 2016, the carrier also registered its best ever Q4 service EBITDA margin at 45.4 percent, on top of a solid operating margin of 24.7 percent.

Along with the latest quarterly financials, AT&T also took the opportunity to publish full-year results. For 2016, the second biggest mobile operator in America managed to register 9.5 million wireless customer net additions in the last twelve months, with 6.2 million coming from the US, while the remaining 3.3 million courtesy of Mexico.

AT&T is also reporting that the launch of its DirecTV Now service last year has resulted to over 200,000 paid net additions. Despite that impressive showing, the overall number of video subscribers at AT&T has decreased by 26,000. According to a spokesperson for the wireless carrier, this decline may be attributed to customers shifting away from U-Verse to satellite video.

The recent months have seen the company try to focus more on packages that combine mobile and satellite video, particularly with the re-introduction of its unlimited data plans. As revealed by AT&T, around half a million customers have already signed up for unlimited data since the option was brought back.

Source: The Verge

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  1. So 1.1 million was not broken down into prepaid vs. postpaid?

    Also, I'm not sure I understand what their postpaid churn rate was-0.98% or 1.16?

    1. I've added a prepaid, post paid etc. breakdown. The overall postpaid churn for Q4 was 1.16%, postpaid phone churn was 0.98%.

    2. Thanks, Dennis. So postpaid adds were in the same ballpark as Verizon. But since Verizon posted a net loss on prepaid, obviously AT&T has more of a clue. I'm guessing a large percentage of the 406k adds leans towards Cricket than GoPhone.

      672k reseller accounts lost is interesting. Surely Cricket/GoPhone didn't absorb them all so I wonder where those customers went? T-Mobile perhaps, though I don't recall them making any massive coverage improvements, especially when it comes to prepaid.

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