AT&T surpasses Verizon as largest carrier in the U.S. – for now

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Verizon became the nation’s largest carrier when it rocketed past AT&T two years ago after its Alltel acquisition. Since then, it had been enjoying a relatively comfortable lead against AT&T even though the latter was picking up hoards of subscribers thanks to the iPhone. However, AT&T has taken its place as number one in terms of subscribers again by adding 2.8 million new customers in the fourth quarter. How long will this lead last?

AT&T has 95.5 million subscribers now, which is a very small lead over Verizon’s 94.1 million. AT&T also activated 4.1 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, so that leaves us asking – how quickly will Verizon surpass AT&T once it picks up the iPhone 4 in just two weeks? The Apple smartphone is undoubtedly carrying AT&T right now, but many frustrated users are looking to jump ship – some already have in anticipation – for the Verizon iPhone.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, AT&T did have an impressive quarter over the holidays. Here are a few key details of its growth:

  • Consolidated revenues of $31.4 billion in the fourth quarter, up $653 million, or 2.1 percent, versus the year-earlier period
  • 9.9 percent growth in wireless revenues, with a 9.6 percent increase in wireless service revenues
  • Best-ever wireless net adds, with a more than 2.8 million increase in total wireless subscribers to reach 95.5 million subscribers in service; full-year wireless net adds totaled 8.9 million, the company’s best-ever annual total
  • Continued expansion in new wireless growth areas; connected devices up a record 1.5 million; iPad- and Android-based tablets up 442,000
  • 27.4 percent growth in wireless data revenues, up $1.1 billion versus the year-earlier quarter
  • For more details on AT&T’s growth and earnings, see the following page.

    • Anonymous

      Wow, that sure is one cool looking building. Wow.

      http://www.privacy-tools.tk

    • Rambo

      That building is a brick! Just like the iphone the at&t network.

    • Hedsic

      I see that building and all I can think is “Banksy could do a lot with all that open canvas”

    • Daveb7y

      No, Verizon has 102.2 million total connections, much more than AT&T.

      You need to compare apples to apples, ie phones to phones.

      • AT&T biggest telecom

        even if att go back to number 2 on wireless subscriber AT&T will always be the the number one telecom company in the USA they are bigger that verizon they make more Money than verizon ok cleared att #1 company

    • Leom760

      I love AT&T number one yeah fk verizon the comment on the botton verizon 94.1 counts everything like the data from laptop etc sorry ur number 2 Now verizon

    • AT&T biggest telecom

      even if att go back to number 2 on wireless subscriber AT&T will always be the the number one telecom company in the USA they are bigger that verizon they make more Money than verizon ok cleared att #1 company

    • http://twitter.com/PureFX Peter Lavelle

      Looks to me like the monolith from Space Odyssey 2001. Plus logo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/A-Lloyd-Flanagan/100001044678820 A Lloyd Flanagan

      Unless AT&T is gathering their customers up and stashing them away somewhere, that should be “hordes” of customers. Come to think of it, that may be a necessary strategy for them now…

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