LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILITY LIVE, ATLANTA: AT&T’s Glenn Lurie warned that mobile operators who ignore the media content opportunity are unlikely to face a healthy future, as he reflected on the drivers behind his company’s planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

“We’re not a one trick pony, we’re not just a wireless company,” commented the company’s president and CEO of its Mobility and Consumer Operations division. “Being a single-play player in the future anywhere in the world is not a good way to go; it will be very hard to compete.”

He noted that the US’ major mobile operators are all taking different approaches to offering new services in a highly competitive market, and it’s important for each rival to “play their own way.”

Lurie commented on how AT&T has changed greatly over the last few years, having become a pioneer in the digital lifestyle space thanks to its connected car and smart home initiatives.

“Mobile and video are going to be key. Mobile is everywhere but video is driving this [Time Warner] acquisition. We bought DirecTV a year ago and now the focus is on going faster.”

Lurie pointed to the company’s upcoming launch (before year end) of its DirecTV Now OTT service, stating that the move reflects AT&T’s aim to provide consumers with content whenever and wherever they need it.

“Video is driving our entire ecosystem, much faster than anyone anticipated,” he commented. “The smartphone is the TV of today and will become even more so tomorrow.” Lurie revealed stats showing that video on the operator’s network has grown by a staggering 150,000 per cent over the last few years, with 114 petabytes of data crossing its network each day.

Wrapping up the session, GSMA chief marketing officer Michael O’Hara asked Lurie what the company’s biggest objective is between now and 2020. “We want to be the premier integrated entertainment communications company in the world – period,” stated Lurie.