AT&T® is feeling the blow of a drop in customer base after the release of the statistics from the fourth quarter. The second-largest US wireless provider saw a rise of 3.8 million wirelesses in the course of the quarter. This is a 7% drop from the 4.1 million signups, which it saw in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The company saw the addition of 232,000 postpaid smartphone subscribers, which is a shocking 42% drop from last year’s numbers. Further, it lost 410,000 branded computing device subscriptions as well. This is also a major rise from 230,000 losses the previous year.
In the entertainment section, AT&T’s DIRECTV NOW® skinny bundle services saw a drop of 267,000 subscribers. In other words, this is about 14% of its user base. Furthermore, DIRECTV® currently feeds 1.6 million customers, which is a drop from 1.86 million at the close of the third quarter last year. It is the first time that they have lost customers in the duration of two years.
All these points to the fact that AT&T® has to level up its offerings so as to keep its customer base strong and to prevent the existing customers from falling away. Some of the major areas that require focus include:
Improving its Wireless Plans
AT&T® has been bottling up the content that was previously promised to its audience. For example, it removed its $15 monthly discount for DIRECTV NOW® back in November. Many customers left because they were unwilling to pay for something that they felt was unworthy of their money.
The best way to improve its subscription rates as of now would be to include popular services like Amazon Prime, Netflix®, and Hulu. Customers would definitely pay for these stand-alone products. This is crucial as value is proving to be the area where AT&T® seems to be missing out, as it showed up extremely low on “value for cost” for the second consecutive year.
Laying Emphasis on the Rollout of Mobile 5G
AT&T® increased 3.2 million connected devices during the quarter, which is a 23% rise from the previous quarter. This is double the number that Verizon® managed to gain and 14 times the number of postpaid smartphones they have. In fact, connected devices account for one of the largest contributions in its wireless subscriber volume. This accounted for about 33% of its base in the final quarter of the year, as compared to 27% in the previous year.