AT&T’s U-verse Sees Growth

Telecom giant AT&T continued to see accelerating growth of its U-verse video service, which competes with cable and satellite TV providers, in the first quarter.

It added 284,000 new U-verse TV subscribers in the period, up from 148,000 in the year-ago quarter and 264,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008, AT&T said in its latest earnings report. The growth was also ahead of many analysts’ forecasts.

The U-verse service now reaches 1.3 million users overall. Nearly 50 percent of subscribers take the largest video package, according to the firm.

AT&T’s total video subscribers, which combine U-verse and bundled satellite TV customers, reached 3.5 million at the end of the first quarter.

AT&T also lauded wireless growth momentum thanks to its exclusive iPhone provider deal. It said 1.6 million Apple iPhone customers had activated services on the AT&T network during the quarter, more than 40 percent of whom were new to the telecom giant.

“I am particularly pleased with the success of our iPhone 3G initiative, which has driven strong high-end customer growth and delivered financial benefits ahead of our original outlook,” said AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.

Overall, AT&T’s first-quarter profit fell 9.7 percent to $3.13 billion. Revenue declined 0.6 percent to $30.57 billion.