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AT&T Continues Adding Customers While Growing Midband 5G


AT&T continued its subscriber growth streak by adding more phone and broadband customers in the second quarter of the year.

The Dallas-based telecom company logged 326,000 postpaid phone net additions over the period, a metric used by the industry to denote success and dependable revenue. That contributed to 8.3 million postpaid phone net additions over the last three years, “That’s up from fewer than 1 million in the three years prior to July 2020,” AT&T CEO John Stankey noted during the quarter’s earnings call Wednesday.

The carrier also reported 123,000 prepaid phone net additions, primarily driven by its Cricket brand. 

AT&T’s faster midband 5G spectrum now reaches 175 million people, up from 160 million last quarter, with a plan to reach 200 million by the end of the year. The carrier’s nationwide 5G network, including slower low-band 5G spectrum, reaches 290 million Americans.

Stankey took a moment to address lead-wrapped telecom cables, which The Wall Street Journal reported are still used by carriers including AT&T. He noted that the industry had phased out placement of new lead-wrapped cables in the 1950s but some “still provide important customer voice and data services.”

“Independent experts and longstanding science have given us no reason to believe these cables pose a public health risk,” Stankey said, noting that AT&T is cooperating with the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the issue and had expanded testing for workers involved with lead-wrapped cables. He acknowledged that, due to existing litigation in Lake Tahoe and other areas, he was limited in commenting.

AT&T added 251,000 net fiber internet customer additions over the quarter, continuing subscriber growth of adding 200,000 customers for each of the last 14 quarters. The carrier passed 20 million locations including consumer homes that it serves with fiber internet, and plans to reach 30 million by 2025.

AT&T reported revenue of $29.9 billion, up 0.9% year over year, which broke down to an adjusted 63 cents earned per share. This is above the 54 cents earnings per share estimated by analysts polled by Yahoo Finance.


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