AT&T has reportedly landed several big blows in the broadband wars for voice, data, video and TV.
It has flicked the switch on AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet Max Turbo, which offers broadband speeds of up to 24 Mbps downstream and up to 3 Mbps upstream. First made available for AT&T U-verse residential and small business customers in the Austin and San Antonio, Texas and St. Louis, Mo. markets, it will be rolled to additional U-verse markets in the future.
AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet Max Turbo is available for residential customers for $65 a month, under current promotional offers, as part of a bundle with AT&T U-verse TV. New residential U-verse customers who bundle U-verse TV (U200 or higher), U-verse Internet Pro or higher with Wireless 450 or higher or U-verse Voice Unlimited will receive $200 back. AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet Max Turbo can be obtained by small businesses for $95 a month.
Internet Max Turbo went live as AT&T announced that it has signed up its 2 millionth AT&T U-verse TV customer. In the past year, AT&T has added 1 million customers to its IPTV (News - Alert) service, which is available to millions of homes across 22 states.
At the same time customers have responded positively to AT&T U-verse bundles. As of the end of the third quarter 2009, more than 90 percent of U-verse TV customers bundle High Speed Internet, more than 60 percent of new U-verse TV customers bundle U-verse Voice, and more than 75 percent of U-verse TV customers have a triple- or quad-play.
AT&T, keeping an eye for its telco rival Verizon (News - Alert) and its cable competition continues to make the U-verse experience better with more apps, channels, services and availability. As examples it:
* Launched 13 U-verse TV apps in 2009, bringing the total number of TV apps to 21 and giving U-verse TV customers more control and interactivity with their favorite content. Two of the most recent app additions include Multiview, which enables watching to four channels at one time on a single TV screen; and Santa Tracker, which lets families visit the North Pole to play holiday games, listen to sing-a-longs, and follow Santa around the globe on Christmas Eve
* Added more than 25 High Definition channels, bringing the U-verse TV HD channel lineup to more than 110 HD channels in every U-verse TV market
* Enhanced the Total Home DVR experience to include Mobile Remote Access for the iPhone (News - Alert), an app that allows scheduling and manage DVR recordings and easily search U-verse TV program listings from iPhones offered by AT&T Wireless. It also added the capability to schedule and delete recordings from any U-verse connected TV in the home
* Added extra value for U-verse High Speed Internet Max customers by increasing speeds from up to 10 Mbps to up to 12 Mbps: a 20 percent speed increase at no extra charge
* Expanded U-verse availability in the Southeast region. U-verse TV is now available in all 22 states of AT&T’s traditional footprint, and the advanced fiber network passes more than 20 million living units
* Ramped U-verse Voice availability. U-verse Voice is now available in all 120 markets that offer U-verse TV, giving consumers another option for their home phone services and more quad-play integrated features
Zacks Equity Research said that AT&T’s U-verse TV, has with the aid of a co-branded satellite TV service in collaboration with Direct TV, roughly 60 percent subscriber share in new markets. Healthy growth it says from U-verse TV continues to help AT&T counter increasing competition in the traditional wireline business.
AT&T’s U-verse TV competes with archrival Verizon’s FiOS (News - Alert) TV service, which Zachs said on track to hit 1 million new subscribers in 2009. U-verse TV also goes against cable TV services offered by leading cable operators including Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable and Charter Communications.
“However, U-verse TV can be bundled with AT&T’s wireless service, providing the company a definite competitive edge over cable,” the firm said.
“This has been an outstanding year for U-verse, and we’re glad that customers are responding to the value, choice and simplicity we’re adding to this service,” Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T mobility and consumer markets, said in a statement. “Customers love that they can get a complete and integrated quad-play of services with U-verse, and that’s why we continue to enhance our entire bundle with new apps and more broadband choices. We’ve shown what we can do with our advanced IP platform, and we’re not done yet.”
Brendan B. Read is TMCnet’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Amy Tierney