AT&T had another impressive quarter in terms of the number of new subscriptions. Indeed, in the recently ended quarter, the major wireless carrier reported 1.9 million net subscriber additions.
But interestingly, a good chunk of these new subscriptions consist of car connections. In fact, of the 1.9 million subscriptions, about 800,000 were from car connections, which means that AT&T really is doing something right in capturing the 4G car connectivity sector.
AT&T did a good job too in other aspects. The carrier's postpaid customer base increased by 854,000 over the last quarter. AT&T also gained 148,000 new smartphone connections and almost 1 million new tablet data connections. Even though the wireless carrier could not keep 180,000 prepaid connections and 65,000 wholesale subscriptions, it did get 1.3 million connected device links, which comprise of cars and other Internet-of-things devices. To date, AT&T now covers a total of 121 million wireless subscriptions on its extensive networks.
With regards to capturing the car connectivity market, it is not like AT&T has not shown signs of interest. For most of last year, the carrier has been striking deals with auto companies in order to provide the LTE link to their new 3G and 4G vehicles. Most of the new connected Chevrolet, Volvo, Buick, Audi, and Cadillac vehicles were deployed this summer and fall, which resulted to a couple of quarters of rapid growth spurred by new car connections. In the third quarter of 2014, AT&T also gained 500,000 new car connections.
It is not all positive numbers for AT&T, however. The carrier posted a net loss amounting to $3.9 billion. After seven straight quarters of posting a profit, AT&T uncharacteristically fails to net a plus bottomline figure. The loss actually makes sense. The carrier after accumulated significant expenses related to employee benefit plans, network write-offs, and just recently, acquisitions. Just this month, AT&T bought two Mexican carriers: Iusacell and Nextel Mexico. When the carrier has finished putting its Mexican operations in place, we should expect some profit in a quarter or two.
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