AT&T Luring DirecTV Mobile Customers With $500 Credits

Now that AT&T bought DirecTV in July, it is moving to transform DirecTV customers into AT&T mobile users as well through $500 in credits per line.

AT&T, DirecTV, smartphones, wireless carriers, mobile carriers

AT&T, in a big move to bolster its mobile customer base, is offering $500 in credits per line to DirecTV customers who will move their mobile services over to AT&T from a competing carrier.

The offer, which was announced Aug. 10, comes less than three weeks after AT&T acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion in July after pursuing the merger since May 2014.

Under the $500-per-line offer, which is good through Oct. 4 for existing DirecTV and AT&T U-verse TV customers, AT&T will give a $300 bill credit for each wireless line ported to AT&T when a customer also buys a new smartphone on an AT&T Next account. Customers can get an additional $200 credit or promotional card, for a total of $500, when they trade in an eligible smartphone, according to AT&T. A $15 activation fee per line will also be assessed when the accounts are set up. Taxes and other fees are also not included.

For a family of four with DirecTV or U-verse TV services, that means that if they switch four wireless lines over to AT&T from another carrier, buy four new phones on the AT&T Next plan and trade in their old eligible phones, they can get up to $2,000 in total credits. AT&T consumer and business customers are eligible for the $500 per wireless line offer.

"This is a unique offer and unlike anything we've ever done—all to celebrate DirecTV now being part of the AT&T family," David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T Mobility, said in a statement. "This is another way we're making it better when you choose TV and wireless from AT&T."

AT&T customers who also receive television services from AT&T can also get a $10 monthly discount if they combine their bills, which can save up to $120 per year, the company announced.

In addition, AT&T is also offering a new "All in One Plan" that combines television and wireless services in one package on one bill for four HD and DVR receivers, unlimited talk and text for four smartphone lines, and 10GB of shareable data per month for $200 a month for 12 months.

AT&T's move to offer enhanced deals to bring over DirecTV customers to grow its own subscriber base was part of the company's vision for making the acquisition in the first place. The merger turned AT&T into a bigger player with its hands in more markets and a ready pool of new prospects to bring into its business coffers.

The DirecTV acquisition was approved July 24 after a review by the Federal Communications Commission under several conditions, including that AT&T expand its deployment of high-speed, fiber-optic broadband Internet access service to 12.5 million customer locations, as well as provide lower rates for services to schools and libraries, according to an earlier eWEEK report. AT&T and its DirecTV unit are also prohibited from using discriminatory practices to harm online video distribution services and must submit so-called Internet interconnection agreements to the FCC for review under the approval. Finally, the company will also be required to offer discounted broadband services to low-income consumers under the terms of the FCC's approval. The conditions for the deal are in effect for four years.

The completed acquisition means that AT&T is now the largest pay TV provider in the United States and the world, servicing more than 26 million customers in the United States and more than 19 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean, according to the company. AT&T also says it has more than 132 million wireless subscribers and connections in the United States and Mexico, while offering 4G LTE mobile coverage to almost 310 million people in the United States.