By Rich Nesin, General Manager and Resident Philosopher, HomePNA
"AT&T said revenue and profits were up in the third quarter, driven by wireless growth and the continued strength of its U-verse business…with 236,000 new U-verse subscribers” and the “first year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenue in more than two years.” ARPU (Average Revenue per User) for U-verse customers was about $160 indicating the high percentage of U-verse customers selecting triple-play and quad-play services.
Verizon’s results - not so great as “third-quarter earnings dropped 25%, as wireless subscriber growth slowed and landline operations struggled to make a profit. The company said its FiOS TV service continued to add customers, with 204,000 net additions, bringing its total subscriber base to 3.3 million…its largest net quarterly increase in FiOS customers in more than a year.”
Gary Schultz, principal of market analyst firm MRG commented that they are expecting U-verse to pull ahead of FiOS in 2012 and stay number one worldwide in IPTV subscribers through 2014. Gary noted that Verizon still enjoys a lead due to its earlier introduction. If you recall, Verizon picked cable MSO technology for FIOS (delivered over FTTH) which gave them shorter time to market and broadband access speed bragging rights but saddled them with TV technology that was not IP based. Gary expects the gap between AT&T and Verizon to continue until Verizon can upgrade its network to a true IPTV network, which will be costly and take time. He also notes reports of AT&T’s aggressive marketing efforts.
I’ve heard reports of aggressive marketing too and my guess is that this, combined with AT&T’s larger customer footprint, will continue to fuel the growth.