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AT&T grows in early 2008 on wireless profits

updated 09:30 am EDT, Tue April 22, 2008

ATT Q1 2008 Results

AT&T today said it had generated "strong" results for the first quarter of 2008 that it says are owed primarily to its cellphone business. The American telecoms firm earned a total of $30.7 billion over the three-month span, up 4.6 percent from the same quarter in 2007 after adjusting for marketing income related to the past BellSouth acquisition (otherwise at 6.1 percent); however, wireless income grew by about 18.3 percent over the same period and was helped by an increase in the amount spent on data features for these plans: spending on Internet access, over-the-air downloads, and messaging spiked by 57.3 percent, AT&T says. Data in various forms now accounts for as much as 21.5 percent of AT&T's cellphone income, up from 16 percent a year ago.

The company also added roughly 1.3 million extra customers for a total of 71.4 million, though it notes that this comes with a significant turnover in the number of subscribers: the gross number of customers added was 5 million, up from 4.3 million but with the same 1.7 percent churn rate, or customers leaving the service, as in 2007. This was partly increased by the decision to shut down TDMA access, dropping 330,000 customers along with the legacy phone network.

AT&T has not said how many customers were added by phone type, but the increase in data is likely supported partly by the iPhone, which in most cases requires a $20 monthly data plan as part of its service. The addition of more 3G-capable cellphones and related features is also widely understood to contribute to more data use.

The carrier also touts other data-focused services as contributing to its bottom line, including double-digit growth in DSL and U-verse landline Internet plans as well as a near-doubling in the number of subscribers to its still-small U-verse IPTV service, which now handles roughly 350,000 customers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. letmebe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Earnings vs. revenue!!!

    Earnings are profits, of 3.46 billion, revenue of 30.7 billions. Get it right! Be clear!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I added AT&T

    mainly because of their rollover minutes (as I only exceed my minutes a couple of times a year, and I was tired of being jobbed by the folks at verizon.

    I'm one in 1.3 million! Woohoo!

  1. cdezign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    att internet profits

    sure they are making profits. But they are nowhere near the quality of customer support as Cingular was. Anyone not aware of it or parents with kids getting onto the internet without a plan are charged 1 cent a kb. NOT mb, but KB and that adds up fast. The sad thing is that it takes one billing cycle and a week into your next bill to see the stagering amount of money you now owe them. I have 5 phones and 1 notebook card and pay only $250 a month for all. But as i was unaware that my cell phone was automatically connecting to the internet (U_Tube will really their money maker) and i was racking up a bill. NOW, i am trying to get them to see that i was unaware of this and i am getting nowhere. YOu HAVE to do it on the phone. Their internet process is a joke and ultimatley ends up requesting you call in. I am getting fed up fast... but the short to all this is there profits are from unsuspecting customers not aware of their high fees.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    cingular and at&t are the same....prices are the same, people are the same, customer service is the SAME. the phone warn u about internet charges, i have a account with 4 phones, 2 syncs, a blackberry, and a tilt. there prices are in line with the other companies, plus they dont play contract tricks like verizon and sprint use to

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