AT&T announced its quarterly earnings Tuesday morning and the company continues to record impressive gains in wireless revenue and smartphone sales. The wireless provider posted total wireless revenues of $16.1 billion, up 5.4 percent year over year. Wireless data revenue also exploded – up $1 billion or 19.9 percent from the same quarter last year.
AT&T continues to increase its subscriber count and now boasts of having 103.9 million total wireless subscribers. The carrier added 726,000 total subscribers in Q1 2012 alone. Branded computing (tablets, tethering plans, etc.) net adds also grew to 460,000, a 70 percent year over year increase. Postpaid wireless churn fell to 1.1 percent and is now at its lowest level in seven quarters. More revenue and more customers influenced postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) which is up 1.7 percent to $64.46.
Smartphones are on the rise at AT&T with the company selling 5.5 million smartphones in the opening quarter. Smartphones accounted for more than 78 percent of postpaid device sales, driving up the number of postpaid subscribers with smartphones to 41.2 million or 59.3 percent of AT&T’s postpaid subscriber base. This is up from 46.2 percent and 31.5 million in the same quarter last year. AT&T also activated 4.3 million iPhones in the quarter.
4G devices (AT&T describes 4G as both LTE and HSPA+) are popular and used by about 30 percent of AT&T’s postpaid smartphone customers. Tiered data plans are also on the rise, with 61 percent of all smartphone subscribers paying monthly for a tiered data plan. This is up from 38 percent in Q1 2011.