Sunday, June 9, 2013

AT&T Launches Smartphone Trade-In Program, BYOD

AT&T announced changes to its mobile device upgrade policies, including a new smartphone trade-in program and BYOD without a contract.

AT&T's new 24-month policy aligns device upgrade eligibility with its standard two-year wireless agreement. Customers get a subsidized device for a new two-year wireless agreement.  After the first six months, customers can qualify for partial discount off the full retail price if they sign a new two-year wireless agreement. After the full 2 year contract, they are eligible for the full discount on a subsidized upgrade.

Under the new trade-in program, AT&T will provide a trade-in of up to $100 for current smartphones (three years or newer and in good working condition) when upgrading to another smartphone.

In addition, AT&T is now supporting "Bring your own device" for compatible GSM-capable phones.  These customers do not need to sign a service contract.

AT&T Sees Stronger Net Adds in Q2

AT&T reported stronger U-verse broadband and TV subscriber growth for Q2 versus the year-earlier quarter.  The company now expects postpaid wireless net adds of approximately 500,000, thanks to several successful promotions in the quarter which are driving strong sales, higher gross adds and smartphone upgrade rates similar to the first quarter.

AT&T now expects second-quarter wireless EBITDA margins to be comparable to the first-quarter.  Additionally, given strong consolidated customer additions and investments in new growth opportunities, consolidated margins are expected to be down year-over-year.  Full-year 2013 guidance remains unchanged from January. The company continues to expect full-year revenue growth exceeding 2 percent.

AT&T also reported a strengthened cash position, with strong free cash flow and an additional $1 billion in cash proceeds from a YP Holdings LLC distribution (~$500 million) where AT&T continues to hold a minority stake, and from the sale of America Movil (AMX) shares (~$550 million). AT&T’s ownership stake in AMX continues to be in the 9 percent range.

India's Reliance Reaches US$2 Billion Network Infrastructure Deal

Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications signed a definitive agreement for sharing of RCOM’s nationwide telecom towers infrastructure. The companies valued the agreement at US$2 billion, reflecting savings from shared infrastructure and operating costs over multiple years.

Specifically, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize up to 45,000 ground and rooftop based towers across RCOM’s nationwide network for accelerated roll-out of 4G services.

The companies will collaborate on additional towers to be built at new locations to ensure deep penetration and
seamless delivery of next generation services.

This agreement follows the inter-city optic fiber sharing agreement already signed in April 2013 as part of a comprehensive framework of business co-operation between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications.