AT&T mobile unit holds steady in Q2, Warner withers - Mobile World Live

AT&T mobile unit holds steady in Q2, Warner withers

23 JUL 2020

AT&T’s profit plunged as the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic pummelled its media and entertainment units in Q2, though executives pointed to strength in its mobile unit as a bright spot.

Despite concerns an increase in remote work would reduce the importance of mobile compared with home broadband, CEO John Stankey said on an earnings call “wireless has become more indispensable to customers in the work-at-home environment, not less”.

“They’re relying more on their devices, they’re using them more. It’s an important utility and tool for them to execute the mix of their personal and business lives. So the trend has actually been really good around that.”

Net income attributable to AT&T of $1.3 billion was down from $3.7 billion in Q2 2019. Revenue decreased from $44.9 billion to $40.9 billion, in part due to an estimated $2.8 billion impact from Covid-19, more than half of which was attributed to content and advertising woes in its WarnerMedia division: the unit’s turnover dropped 22.8 per cent to $6.8 billion

Mobile revenue of $17.1 billion was roughly flat on Q2 2019 ($17.3 billion), while entertainment revenue fell 11.4 per cent to $10 billion.

Stankey used the earnings call to reveal the operator completed a nationwide 5G deployment, with 40 more markets covered by its sub-6GHz network.

AT&T said it plans to expand availability to subscribers on lower-tier price plans on 7 August and Cricket Wireless prepaid customers on 21 August: the service was previously only offered to those on higher-level deals.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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