Friday, June 05, 2009

More signs of trouble for AT&T's U-Verse

AT&T continues to emphasize wireless as its future while deemphasizing the wire line market segment. As evidence, gigaom cites a June 4 report by UBS Research analyst John Hodulik that the big telco has slowed by nearly half deployment of its premier wire line product, U-Verse.

Hodulik projects AT&T's U-Verse buildout to reach an additional 4 to 5 million premises this year, down from 9 million new premises passed by the service -- which offers Internet connectivity, IPTV, and VOIP -- in 2008.

As predicted last September, I continue to expect AT&T to pull the plug on U-Verse sometime in the first half of 2010 as part of a general retreat out of residential wire line service in favor of more profitable wireless service. The Dallas-based company will likely blame unanticipated cost, technological and competitive market challenges for the move. In the residential and small business wire line segment, AT&T's future role will be a middle mile and particularly a long haul provider.

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