AT & T touts more smartphone users

Fri, 05/15/2009 - 8:20am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

AT&T today announced a new ad campaign that will highlight the carrier’s relatively high number of smartphone subscribers.

In a press release on the company’s Web site, AT&T cited "independent market research" that shows twice as many smartphone users have chosen AT&T over any other U.S. carrier.

AT&T said a new TV spot features a businessman e-mailing with his boss and sending files on a bus that’s morphed into a harried workplace. The idea communicated is that twice as many smartphone users have chosen AT&T because with AT&T, they have confidence they can always stay connected.

The new ads will begin running over the weekend.

Until recently, AT&T had claimed to be the nation’s largest wireless carrier. However, Verizon Wireless recently acquired Alltel, and subsequently an additional 13.2 million customers. In its first-quarter earnings, Verizon reported 86.6 million total subscribers, while AT&T had 78.2 million.

ComScore was the research firm responsible for showing that AT&T in March had 11.8 million smartphone customers, which was more than double the 5.1 million that the combined Verizon Wireless-Alltel unit had and 47 percent of U.S. smartphone customers overall, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

“We’ve taken integrated devices mainstream, and nearly a third of our postpaid customers use one,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

In the release, AT&T stressed the campaign not only highlights the carrier’s smartphone users, but also the network’s ability to cope with the bandwidth-sucking devices. AT&T said it expects total capital expenditures to be $17 billion to $18 billion in 2009, with more than three-quarters of that supporting mobility and data.

More Broadband Direct 05/15/09:
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•  Investors object to Malone's DirecTV deal
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•  Agilent posts Q2 loss as revenue falls 25%
•  AT&T touts more smartphone users
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