AT&T adds 2.1 million connections in solid Q2

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AT&T Tops Profit Estimates as DirecTV Deal Nears Completion.

AT&T Inc. topped analysts’ profit estimates as gains in tablet customers cushioned the loss of phone subscribers, while the company awaits regulatory approval of its $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV.“This is a pivotal time for us,” CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. “We look forward to closing DirecTV and building on this momentum.” This isn’t a shocker: as we found in our own Fastest Mobile Networks project and Root finds in its periodic perfomance reports, Verizon is the best LTE network to use if you plan to roam far and wide throughout the U.S. But this report is worth noting for travelers because Root went deep into airport terminals to make its tests: it spent eight hours in each airport, three pre-security and five in post-security areas where you need a ticket.

Airports can present different challenges than the surrounding metro areas, Root says. “Dense building materials and underground locations can present RF difficulties [as well as] restrictions on tower and antenna placement,” according to the report. The best carrier at an airport may not be the best carrier in the surrounding city; it may be the carrier that’s set up the best small-cell, in-building network in the terminals. Looking across the country, the overall trends are the same as in metro areas at large: Verizon leads on speed, followed by T-Mobile and then AT&T, with Sprint dragging way behind. Smaller carriers Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have been fighting for subscribers with price cuts, phone rentals and free music streaming, forcing larger operators like AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. to respond. “Investors can now look ahead to the benefits of the DirecTV deal,” said Kevin Roe, an analyst with Roe Equity Research LLC, based in Dorset, Vermont. AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, rose as much as 2.6 percent to $34.80 in late trading, after closing down 1 percent to $33.93 in New York.

Overall, Root found dramatic improvements in speeds at Atlanta’s airport this year, but otherwise, the busiest airports didn’t do very well in cellular performance. Analysts predict AT&T will have a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in sales growth over the next two years, compared with a 0 percent to 1 percent estimated for Verizon, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. If you intend to download full-length HD movies as Root suggests in its report, you’re probably not going to use your Verizon or AT&T mobile connection.

It found that Wi-Fi was faster in Chicago, Dallas, and Denver; “cell data” was faster in Atlanta, and the two were comparable in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The free Wi-Fi at airports is often speed-limited, and it can involve creating a throwaway account using a Web page that doesn’t work well on your phone, or having to view advertising videos that also probably don’t work well on your phone.

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