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AT&T reveals core wireless revenue rise, names new COO

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AT&T revealed a 2.5% increase in revenue for its core wireless business operations before naming Jeff McElfresh as its new chief operating officer (COO).

In recent months, the US juggernaut abandoned plans to become a media and entertainment company, spinning off its WarnerMedia unit with Discovery Inc earlier this month for US$43 billion.

The company added 691,000 monthly phone subscribers in the first quarter.

Standalone revenues excluding the WarnerMedia merger were up to US$29.7 billion.

Service revenues were up by 4.8% and equipment revenues by 7.3% year-on-year and there was a 2.5% increase in the mobility and consumer wireline.

The company added 691,000 postpaid phone net adds and 113,000 prepaid phone net adds over the past year.

289,000 new fibre customers were also added in that time and it was revealed that broadband revenues were up by 6.8% due to fibre revenue growth of 24.7%.

Overall revenue was down by more than 13%, however, as a result of its weakening business wireline unit.

“Our momentum in growing customer relationships is reaching historical levels,” said John Stankey, AT&T CEO.

“We had our best first quarter for postpaid phone net adds in more than a decade and our fibre broadband net adds remain consistently strong.

“AT&T has entered a new era, meeting this opportunistic moment from a position of flexibility and strength thanks to our evolving networks, enhanced customer experience, growing 5G and fibre customer base and a much stronger balance sheet.”

James Manning, senior analyst at CCS Insight believes that with a worsening economic landscape, AT&T may struggle to maintain momentum later in the year mirroring the slower growth reported by Verizon in Q1 2022.

"With incoming economic headwinds, AT&T may struggle to retain business momentum as consumers and business scale back costs, however the rationalisation of its business – focusing on 5G and fibre connectivity, alongside bolstering its new media business following the WarnerMedia Discovery merger, puts AT&T in a solid position for the coming year."

Manning adds that he expects AT&T to expand its fixed wireless offering as its C-band network scales throughout the year with both Verizon and T-Mobile increasingly focused and vocal on fixed wireless progress.


New COO

Just a day after revealing its latest financial results, AT&T named Jeff McElfresh, CEO of its communications division as its new COO.

The role was vacated by John Stankey two years ago who left in order to become CEO in July 2020.

McElfresh, a 20-year industry veteran, took on the role of CEO of communications in 2019 and was named as the new COO in an internal message to staff.

Several other executives within the company have also shifted roles following the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger. This includes Thaddeus Arroyo, who has been named the new chief strategy and development officer after a stint as CEO of AT&T’s consumer business.

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