AT&T CFO John Stephens (pictured) talked up the positive benefits of bundling for customer retention, as he acknowledged the wireless market’s return to “rational activity”.
At an investor conference, Stephens reported AT&T grew the number of customers using both its wireless and DirecTV service from 18 million to 20 million over the past 12 months, and noted post paid subscriber churn in Q3 dropped to a record-low 0.84 per cent.
Stephens said there’s a strong correlation between those numbers: “It’s obvious that the benefits of bundling video – DTV Now, our HBO bundle that we put together – is really giving our customers a great value, great service and, quite frankly, implies that it’s leading them to stay with us in greater numbers.”
But Stephens also acknowledged the wireless market had been less fiercely competitive in the last several months, highlighting more balanced activity “and more rational pricing”. The trend extends to offers around Apple’s latest iPhones, he added.
As far as the iPhones go, Stephens struck a markedly different tone than T-Mobile US executives speaking at the same event.
Where T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter crowed over demand for the flagship iPhone X, Stephens said he couldn’t talk about the device directly and instead highlighted key questions hovering over the holiday quarter.
“The fourth quarter issues will be are people that enthralled with the device that they really want it, have they been delaying their purchases and now they’re going to buy it, and will we have enough supply to satisfy customers’ demands?”
“We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.”