Data revenues through the roof, a full 75 percent of postpaid customers now on smartphones

AT&T has just posted its Q3 2013 earnings report, and the wireless side of the company's business is growing as it seems to do every quarter. The nation's second-largest carrier posted growth in revenues, earnings, subscribers — here's the breakdown:

  • $17.5 billion in revenues, up 5.1 percent year-over-year
  • $15.5 billion in wireless service revenues, up 3.7 percent y-o-y
  • $5.5 billion in wireless data revenues, up 17.6 percent y-o-y
  • $4.6 billion in operating income, up 3.4 percent y-o-y
  • 989,000 net subscribers added in the quarter

Those are some solid numbers for the carrier, and AT&T is seeing growth in all the right places. Postpaid ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for smartphones is up 3.1 percent for the quarter (and up 1.5 percent when factoring tablets), and data ARPU was up 16.7 percent.

Following 1.2 million postpaid smartphones added in the quarter, a full 75 percent of AT&T's postpaid subscriber base is now using smartphones, up from 66 percent a year ago. About 72 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers are also moved over to either Mobile Share or tiered individual data plans as well.

Overall postpaid churn (the number of customers leaving the carrier) was down slightly year-over-year to 1.07 percent in Q3, but up from Q2. Total churn, including prepaid, was just 1.31 percent for the quarter. In terms of smartphone sales, AT&T says it sold a record 6.7 million in the quarter (89 percent of postpaid phone sales), but didn't further break down which operating systems were sold most.

Source: AT&T (BusinessWire)

There are 30 comments

hmmm says:

So both ATT and Verizon added over 1 million subs. Sprint or T-mobile must be hurting or maybe it's those smaller carriers that are taking a big hit? Unless these are somehow brand new subscribers to mobile or do they cook their numbers somehow to look better than they really are?

UJ95x says:

Probably a little bit of everything you said

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yankeesusa says:

Actually, T-Mobile supposedly gained new customers. I think it was Sprint who lost customers. Including my wife's Sprint line which is now with T-Mobile.

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Paul Warner says:

All the illegals coming into the country are going straight to AT&T and Verizon..

NoNexus says:


Go back to freeper land

'murica heck yeah

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UJ95x says:

I doubt that's what's causing it

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Revrant says:

Yeah! They're all going to the people who require identity verification, contracts with identity and credit verification, and the highest costs!

terk r jerbs

buggyman says:

And yet our bill is still way too high

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UJ95x says:

How does more customers mean lower prices?

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luqman24 says:

I believe he's referring to the amount of revenue they made not customers.

icebike says:

And he explained that 17% growth in data revenue by saying our bill was too high.

He's right, we are still getting raped on data costs.
Ave revenue per user up 3.1% but ave revenue for Data up 17.6%.

This in spite of only adding about a million net subscribers to their 67.5 million total. All of this had to come out of their new shared data plans, which are proving hugely profitable.

codiusprime says:

Switch, no one is making you use AT&T.

hodan says:

Yes they are it's No. 1!

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rchapman80 says:

I think my bill is way to high also.

That is until I find myself in the sticks of Ohio and realize I not only have coverage but good coverage. Money well spent.

NoNexus says:

I had the same thing until sprint got great LTE in my area. I know your pain

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Techngro says:

I understand, but I kinda feel bad for you guys. You basically have to stick with these horrible carriers (Verizon and AT&T especially) because they're your best bet for your area.

I'm so glad I junked both Sprint and AT&T in succession a few years ago. T-Mobile has great coverage in my area, and for $30 a month, I get all the data I need. Plus no contract, so I can upgrade my phone whenever I want. Which I am about to do. Galaxy Note 3 on pre-order. :)

NoNexus says:

I would *think* about Tmo but they have not improved coverage here in years.

Sprint did. I pay Tmo prices and get unlimited LTE so I am good.

They can play with their plans and gimmick things all they want, but you gotta have coverage or it is useless

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BCWARE says:

My wife and I just moved over from Sprint....

pinch55 says:

I also left Sprint but on the GoPhone plan. $60 a month, so far absolutely no complaints.

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bluesun3030 says:

Just wait till the Nexus 5 gets released. I expect a huge jump for AT&T & T-Mo, VZW will hemorrhaging accounts.

carraser891 says:

Yea I doubt because of ONE phone they will loose customers....

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NoNexus says:

They sold what, under 2M total last time?

The 5 won't phase Verizon.

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aitt says:

There should be a petition to have ATT allow data rollover.

carraser891 says:

Lmao do u have any idea how much money they would loose?

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aitt says:

As opposed to what? They still charge you monthly. Majority people are on WiFi when data cap hits. They already have rollover minutes and not losing a penny. So please explain how they lose.

stylez619 says:

I lol'd at this. I could only wish that option were even remotely possible. I would literally turn off my data connection for an entire month just to start with a 5GB buffer the next month.

aitt says:

Yeah I wish to, but hell I still wouldn't hit my call. I barely hit 2 GB and have the 4 GB share plan. WiFi everywhere.

mcox1124 says:

I'm going to send this idea up the chain. If it made sense for voice rollover when voice was THE THING, why not data now?

moises1204 says:

i think this two company are making things up, good pr move.

cmikea says:

I can't wait until my ATT contract is over. No unlimited data plans.

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