Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, expects the company to improve its mobile performance in the second quarter of 2013, as it focuses on better execution and new business models.
Speaking at a JP Morgan event, Stephenson said: “The first quarter in mobility was probably not our best quarter, I don’t think we executed very well in the first quarter, it was disappointing to me.”
“You’re going see the second quarter on mobility look markedly better than what you saw on the first quarter. And you’ll see some new things as we get into the third quarter, so I’m feeling pretty good from the mobility standpoint on 2013,” he added.
Despite saying there is likely to be additional penetration and smartphone growth in AT&T’s mobile business, Stephenson acknowledged that new approaches may be needed.
“Smartphone penetration rates are slowing and so people are not going to continue to pursue the model the same old way they always have. I think you’re going to see the subsidisation models change,” he said.
AT&T recently launched Aio Wireless, a new data-centric, pre-paid brand aimed at the no-contract market, following the lead of T-Mobile USA. It also introduced an option for customers to trade in their old handsets for up to $100. Stephenson said these initiatives “are actually looking very, very good”.
Turning to Europe, Stephenson noted that the LTE market is relatively undeveloped compared to the US, but said the similar demographics of the two markets means there is significant potential for those that take risks.
“Are there M&A opportunities in Europe? I don’t know. It’s a difficult place for that type of thing. If there were opportunities, we would entertain it,” he said.