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AT&T’s Customer Base Grows on Postpaid and Prepaid Net Adds

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AT&T’s customer base in the first quarter

AT&T (T) reported substantial wireless net additions of 2.82 million subscribers in the first quarter, including 2.73 million subscriber additions in the US and 93,000 additions in Mexico. The company’s strong wireless customer additions in the US were driven by postpaid phone customer gains, continued strong prepaid phone growth, and a surge in the number of connected devices.

In the first quarter, AT&T lost 204,000 postpaid customers, wherein its postpaid phone customer additions were 80,000 compared to the 60,000 customers it lost last year in the first quarter. Its postpaid smartphone net additions totaled 179,000, but its tablet customer losses totaled 428,000 in the first quarter of 2019. Its prepaid customer net additions totaled 96,000 in the quarter, wherein its prepaid phone customer net additions of 85,000 were lower than its 192,000 customer additions in the previous year’s quarter. The company also added 63,000 prepaid smartphone customer additions in the first quarter. Connected devices’ net additions totaled 3.1 million in the quarter.

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Postpaid phone customer additions

Mobile carrier companies including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint (S), and T-Mobile (TMUS) are struggling to increase their customer bases—especially postpaid phone customers—amid rising competition from online streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

AT&T’s postpaid phone customer additions of 80,000 in the first quarter was its first postpaid phone net gain in the first quarter in five years, as the company is making efforts to grow its subscriber base in a saturated market. In comparison, Verizon lost ~44,000 postpaid phone customers in the first quarter. Sprint also lost a net 189,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the quarter. Peer T-Mobile, however, added a net 656,000 postpaid phone customers in the first quarter.

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