AT&T has sought to allay concerns about its ability to compete in the US mobile market by saying it expects to add another half a million contract customers during the three months ending in June 2013.
The operator is not due to publish second-quarter results until July 23 but claims its broadband, TV and mobile divisions are all thriving in terms of subscriber adoption.
The operator says that a number of promotions in the mobile phone market have paid off, “driving strong sales, higher gross adds and smartphone upgrade rates similar to the first quarter”.
As a result, says AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA), wireless margins on earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization are likely to be comparable to those in the first quarter (when the operator reported a figure of 28%).
The company is also sticking to full-year guidance that revenues will increase by 2% in 2013.
The statement should go some way towards addressing investor anxiety about an intensification of competition in the US mobile market, with T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA) – recently formed from the merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS (Richardson, TX, USA) – threatening to shake up the industry with its launch of no-contract smartphone plans that appear to be much cheaper than offers from AT&T and Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA).
AT&T reported 296,000 contract wireless adds in the first quarter of the year, but the figure included 365,000 new customers using tablet computers, implying a net loss of 69,000 phone customers.
The operator has also recently underperformed Verizon Wireless, its chief rival.
In May, AT&T launched a no-contract brand called Aio Wireless in an apparent response to the pressure from T-Mobile US.
Although available at launch in only Houston, Orlando and Tampa, Aio is expected to become widely available over the next year.
The subsidiary is advertising a range of smartphones and pricing services at comparable rates to those of T-Mobile US.