New Category: Connected Devices

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-04-21 Print this article Print

"We carry about half of all the wireless data traffic in the United States today," Lindner said. "Second, you need a broad, data-capable device lineup. We have that today, and you should expect to see us continue rolling out terrific devices as we go through this year. We have twice the number of smartphones on our network as any of our competitors. And third, you need rich access to applications. Again, an area where we lead."
In its new "connected devices" category, which includes e-readers such as the Kindle 2, GPS devices and soon the Apple iPad, it added 1.1 million customers, for a total of 5.8 million. Lindner said this was an important new area for the company, explaining, "We believe the range of the devices that will be connected wirelessly in the future will be both broad and deep."
Analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies agreed it was a good quarter for the carrier.
"Bringing its subscribers up to within a scootch of Verizon's is great for AT&T. The iPhone has definitely been a boost," Kay told eWEEK. "At this point, AT&T needs to continue to build out its network to accommodate the slew of data-heavy endpoints that will follow the iPhone's lead."
Kay added, "The company took an image hit when its service couldn't keep up with the increased data usage, but overall the relationship with Apple has been beneficial and should stand AT&T in good stead as more Apple competitors join the battle."
In all, the carrier was positive about past efforts, as well as plans to reinvigorate its relationship with current iPhone customers before its exclusive relationship with the device ends.
"In January we outlined a plan for you, and I believe what you've seen in our results today is that we delivered what we said we would-hopefully what you see is we delivered a little more than what we said we would," Lindner said in closing remarks.
"We had a terrific start to the year. Wireless growth was excellent. Best ever churn, best ever post-paid ARPU, best-ever first-quarter net ads, strong data growth and I think even more importantly we have a terrific technology path going forward, to continue to delivery wireless growth," Lindner said. "We're already seeing solid improvements in data download speeds, and we've got a lot more to come there."

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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