US telco AT&T Inc has reported consolidated revenues of USD31.46 billion for the three months ended 30 September 2012, a decrease of 0.1% year-on-year. Wireless sales accounted for the lion’s share of revenues in 3Q12, rising 4.5% to USD14.91 billion, while ‘data’ (broadband) revenues increased 6.9% y-o-y to USD7.98 billion. However, third-quarter ‘voice’ (wireline) revenue was down 10.8% to USD5.57 million, from USD6.24 million in 3Q11. Net income for 3Q12 increased 0.3% from USD3.62 billion to USD3.64 billion.
In operational terms, AT&T Wireless added 678,000 net new customers in the twelve-month period, for a total of 105.9 million at the end of September; this included gains in every customer category. Of these additions, 151,000 were post-paid subscribers and 77,000 were pre-paid. Of the remainder, 137,000 new connections were attributed to resellers and a further 313,000 subscriber accounts were classified as ‘connected devices’. Post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 2.4% y-o-y to USD65.2 per month, representing the 15th consecutive quarterly rise, and the strongest increase in six quarters. The carrier sold 6.1 million smartphones in 3Q12, 1.3 million more than in 3Q11, with such devices representing 81% of post-paid handset sales. AT&T claims that its ARPU for smartphones is twice as high as that of non-smartphone subscribers. Further, more than 40% of AT&T’s post-paid smartphone user base possess a Long Term Evolution (LTE)-capable device.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson commented: ‘We had another impressive quarter with strong earnings growth, record cash flows and solid returns to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. In wireless, we had another excellent smartphone quarter, penetration of usage-based mobile data plans continues to climb, and our 4G LTE network build is ahead of schedule. And in wireline, our IP network continues to deliver strong gains in U-verse high speed internet connections, which helped drive an almost 10% increase in broadband data ARPU’.