American Telephone and Telephone (AT&T) can trace its lineage back to the very invention of the telephone. The company’s founder was none other than the illustrious Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Up until 1982, AT&T held a monopoly over the American telephone and telegram industry. In 1982, United States v. AT&T culminated in the company agreeing to end the monopoly of AT&T plans. The massive corporation shut its local exchange service operating companies. They did so to grab the opportunity to enter the IT sector. In the 47 years since, the company still dominates the telecom and IT industries at the time of this blog.
How did AT&T become a brand with global recognition?
The provider is a household name, not only in the US but also across the world. In 2012, the company had over 16,000 retail outlets across the country. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company came into being in 1885. It built and operated the first long-distance network in America. The provider’s mission is to connect people to their world, better than anyone else can. It has a reputation built on innovative solutions in communications and entertainment for customers and businesses alike. This blog will touch on the AT&T journey by looking at:
- AT&T as a Brand
- Challenges AT&T had to Overcome
- AT&T Mobile Phone Services and the Future
- What Can We Expect?
AT&T as a Brand
At the beginning of 2018, AT&T ranked as the most valuable telecom brand in the world. Brand Finance, a leading strategy, and brand valuation organization, placed AT&T at the top of a competitive list. The provider retained top place as the telecom sector’s most valuable brand. Objectively speaking, American telecom brands dominate the sector, but AT&T remains most relevant. Brand Finance valued the brand at $82.4 billion!
Challenges AT&T had to Overcome
Over the last decade, technology brands like Facebook and Microsoft have been a challenge for providers. WhatsApp and Skype are two pieces of technology that have really made carrier-based communication secondary. To respond to the challenge, AT&T had to adopt more innovative strategies. It worked hard to improve its voice and video calling services to stay relevant in the race for pole position. Globally, the telecom sector has a huge number of internet challengers. These include:
- Microsoft Skype
- Facebook Messenger
- Amazon Alexa
- Tencent WeChat
- Google Hangouts
To stay ahead, the provider has had to deal with complex regulations, changing markets, and competing services from Internet-based companies. The way things seem to be going, it seems to have dealt well with the competition. It remains the top player in a fluid, changing, and competitive market.
AT&T Mobile Phone Services and the Future
AT&T has always had a competitive foothold in the cellular arena. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had to deal with failures on its way to the top. AT&T has to face the loss of mobile customers in a saturated market. It offered unlimited plans for a much lower price point than the competition. But it still had to deal with losing many subscribers to its mobile service. But did that stop AT&T? No.
A successful brand always seeks to lead the way to greener pastures when things become stagnant. Which is exactly what the company is doing. The provider is significantly involved in investing in a new 5G network. It has its sights set on becoming the first carrier to offer 5G in the US. At the same time, it is also working on testing V2X or vehicle-to-everything networks as well.
What Can We Expect?
In 2017, Forbes ranked AT&T as the biggest telecom provider in the world. A close second was Verizon, followed by China Mobile. At the time, the Forbes Global 2000 article made an interesting observation. It highlighted the fact that telecom companies across the world are pushing for consolidation. Many want to grow their subscriber base by offering better services and more features. AT&T investing in 5G is a very good example. Most likely, it will be a zero-sum game, according to Forbes.
The industry’s major players will see a concentration of power. We can reasonably expect more acquisitions and consolidations in the future. If you have subscribed to an AT&T phone number or TV or internet services, you may have made the right choice. As the top brand in the industry, it is under more pressure to deliver the best experience. In a free-market economy, the competition is intense, and consumers are the most likely to benefit.