Sunday, June 7, 2009

With new iPhone, AT&T Reaffirms Guidance, Confirms HSPA Support

In light of Apple's iPhone 3G S announcement, AT&T reaffirmed its financial guidance for 2009 that targets wireless service OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) margins in the low 40% range. AT&T's cost of customer acquisition for iPhone 3G S and the newly priced iPhone 3G are expected to be very similar to the costs associated with the original iPhone 3G.

AT&T plans to begin selling iPhone 3G S for $199 (16GB) and $299 (32GB) and iPhone 3G starting at $99 (8GB) to new and qualifying customers who sign up for a 2-year service commitment with voice and data plans.

AT&T also confirmed that the new iPhone 3G S will be compatible with High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology, which offers theoretical peak download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, though actual speeds will vary as these capabilities become available. AT&T plans to begin deploying HSPA 7.2 later this year, with completion expected in 2011. In addition, AT&T is early doubling the wireless spectrum dedicated to 3G in most metropolitan areas to deliver stronger in-building reception and more overall network capacity.

However, AT&T will not be among the first carriers to support the MMS and tethering capabilities of the new iPhone 3G S. A timeline for these capabilities on the AT&T network was not disclosed.

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