**Editor’s Note: Which is America’s top wireless network? Click here to see what we discovered.**
AT&T said Wednesday it wooed 785,000 wireless subscribers on contract and reported its lowest postpaid churn level ever – 0.99 percent – for a third quarter.
More than 90 percent of AT&T’s postpaid base subscribes to AT&T Family Talk, Mobile Share or business plans, and these customers tend to leave AT&T less often than other subscribers, the company said. Case in point: AT&T lost 140,000 prepaid subscribers in the third quarter.
Even though the mobile market is saturated with approximately 104 percent penetration and 336 million wireless connections as of last year, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, America’s biggest telecommunications carriers are still relying on their wireless businesses to grow. And that focus is doing the job.
AT&T’s wireless revenues in the third quarter rose to $18.3 billion, a 4.9 percent increase versus the year-earlier period. Verizon on Tuesday reported bigger gains in the quarter as wireless revenues increased 7 percent to $21.8 billion.
Overall, AT&T reported revenues of $33 billion, up 2.5 percent over the year-earlier period. The wireline business weighed down AT&T’s growth, with revenue falling 0.4 percent to $14.6 billion. Revenue from business customers declined 2 percent and totaled $8.7 billion.
AT&T’s consumer business was a bigger success. Revenue rose 3 percent to $5.7 billion, thanks to AT&T’s U-verse VoIP, high-speed Internet and video services.
And while AT&T’s third-quarter net income totaled $3 billion, that number was down from $3.8 billion a year ago. The company said merger, integration and early debt expenses ate into its profit.