AT&T – All about the last dollar


Let’s face it, companies don’t care about anything but the money. This was made evident by AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson. While at a wireless industry conference on Wednesday, he was asked about the iPhone. Back in 2007, when the iPhone was originally released, AT&T (then Cingular) gave customers the option of having an unlimited data plan for an additional $30 per month. Stephenson’s thoughts thoughts 5 years later?

“My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat. And it’s a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital.”

Just last quarter, AT&T recorded $6.1 billion in revenue from just mobile data plans. $6.1 billion. With the amount of money that they’re pulling in, AT&T can easily bring back the unlimited data plan, increase the “quality” of their network, and keep their customers happy. It’s not like removing the unlimited data plan in 2010 or throttling grandfathered unlimited users even helped to improve network quality and performance.

It didn’t stop with just data plans.

AT&T is concerned about how Apple’s free iMessage service is crippling their revenue stream.

“You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model. Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.”

He’s obviously worried about money, of which AT&T has plenty of.

What are your thoughts about this? Is what Mr. Stephenson said appropriate, or are they being really greedy bastards?

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  • Ben Boyd

    There’s must be a lot more not being told.
    If this is the sum of his learnings and experiences in five years how has he kept his job?