YOU ARE AT:Analyst AngleKagan: AT&T shows strong 4Q20 growth

Kagan: AT&T shows strong 4Q20 growth

At a UBS investor conference last week, John Stankey, AT&T CEO said he likes the strong momentum in their wireless business during 4Q20. This growth is thanks to the changes made by Stankey earlier this year after he took the reins. Ever since, AT&T has been working to simplify their wireless service choices in 2020 and this seems to be working.

When the new iPhone 12 models went on the market recently, you could see the attractive simplicity in AT&T marketing. It was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise confusing industry. Something all competitors should do as well. Simplicity is apparently what users are looking for going forward.

This shift is being done for all users, new and existing customers on the consumer side and the business side.

Changes by new AT&T CEO John Stankey lead to growth

Stankey just became CEO of AT&T. With that, he was dealt a significant blow, along with other CEO’s called COVID-19. This was a challenge for the CEO of every company. So far, AT&T seems to be handling this challenge.

Earlier this year, seeing the challenges of the coronavirus, Stankey started rethinking their growth strategies moving forward.

You see, yesterday all similar telephone companies took similar growth paths. That means if one was successful, they would pretty much all be successful.

However, that has been changing in recent years. The direction for growth has been taking different companies in different directions.

AT&T and Comcast Xfinity heading in similar directions

AT&T and Comcast are heading in a similar direction. They are creating a new, larger category to watch. It blends wireless, telecom, pay TV, internet, movies and entertainment, news and more.

AT&T now owns WarnerMedia, Warner Brothers, CNN, HBO Max and more. Comcast Xfinity owns NBC Universal.

This means both AT&T and Comcast are growing through expansion of their service portfolio.

Verizon and T-Mobile are not heading in the same direction. Yes, they are expanding, but at a more limited pace. Verizon with FiOS and T-Mobile with TVision show how they are trying to move into and be successful in the pay TV space.

Wireless pay TV will also continue to grow using the nations 5G wireless networks as well.

CenturyLink and other landline companies are not really expanding beyond their core.

Investors must choose the type company and sector

Investors looking for companies who are taking their segments to a new level see AT&T and Comcast as a potential growth story.

They also see Verizon and T-Mobile as a strong wireless play but who are more limited in scope.

This is the fundamental difference between these companies and these two sectors.

That being said, some of the new areas are being impacted by COVID-19. So, this sudden challenge is creating new growth opportunities

WarnerMedia will release 2021 movies at theaters and HBO Max

WarnerMedia last week unveiled their new plans. They said, in 2021, they will release their new films both in theaters and on HBO Max. This will give HBO Max a powerful new growth avenue.

This is the kind of new thinking I expected to see when AT&T acquired WarnerMedia. COVID-19 has just turned up the heat and these changes are starting now.

This is something Hollywood never expected. However, if successful, expect the entertainment industry to move in this same direction.

AT&T core services, wireless, telecom, Internet, pay TV are strong as ever

Plus, all of AT&T core services are as strong as ever. Think wireless, telecom, pay TV, internet and more.

This means they not only have a strong growth path forward with their traditional services, but using ingenuity, their new services have that same chance for new growth as well.

We can expect a fundamental shift in the way the entertainment business operates. That’s the benefit when these industries converge and work together.

AT&T is a player in multiple sectors including wireless, telecom, pay TV, news, entertainment and more.

If you look closely, you can see how in each of these separate sectors, AT&T is a significant player in each. In fact, they are a leader in each.

COVID-19 triggering a fast change in how business gets done

True, coronavirus has thrown a wrench into the growth plans of certain segments. However, COVID-19 is only temporary.

On Sunday, we watched the exciting news of the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine being distributed.

At the same time, core segments of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum and Altice remain strong and should remain that way.

With regards to AT&T, not only do they show strong core service growth, but their new thinking about WarnerMedia and releasing movies in theaters and HBO Max could transform the media and entertainment sector as well.

2021 will be an exciting and transformative year for both AT&T and the various segments and companies they compete in. The beginning of a new growth era.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Jeff Kagan
Jeff Kaganhttp://jeffkagan.com
Jeff is a RCR Wireless News Columnist, Industry Analyst, Key Opinion Leader and Influencer. He shares his colorful perspectives and opinions on the companies and technologies that are transforming the industry he has followed for 35 years. Jeff follows wireless, wire line telecom, Internet, Pay-TV, cable TV, AI, IoT, Digital Healthcare, Cloud, Mobile Pay, Smart cities, Smart Homes and more.

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