​Jeff Kagan: How AT&T is Changing

Jeff Kagan  |

As a wireless analyst and telecom analyst, I have been following AT&T (T) for longer than I can remember. It was always either the largest or one of the largest two competitors in the wireless and wire line space. Now, the industry is changing and if competitors are going to stay on top, they must change as well. Let’s take a look at how the industry is changing and how AT&T is changing going forward.

I started following AT&T in the 1980’s around the time of the breakup of Ma Bell. Both the company and the industry have gone through several major shifts since that point.

Today, AT&T is a leader in innovation. They are forward thinking and are leading the transformation of the industry, not only in wireless and wire line, but in television, ultra-fast Internet connectivity, home security, AI, IoT, the cloud and so much more.

AT&T is Leader in Innovation Like Wireless Pay TV

Yesterday, when we said the name AT&T, we thought telephone. During the last decade, that expanded and we thought wireless and telecom. Today, it continues to expand as we think things like television through IPTV and DirecTV.

In fact, AT&T is shaking up the pay-TV industry and causing competitors like Comcast (CMCSA

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Xfinity and Charter (CHTR) Spectrum to get back into wireless in order to compete. In fact, this forward thinking at AT&T is causing Verizon (VZ) to consider a similar move into the television space in order to remain competitive. That’s who AT&T is.

Take a closer look at the power of this wave of innovation. AT&T acquired DirecTV and has been reinventing pay-TV ever since. They launched DirecTV NOW which lets users pick and choose the channels they want to watch and to lower costs. Users love this.

Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

Plus, DirecTV has launched wireless TV or mobile TV. This means users can watch television on their smartphones or tablets over the AT&T Mobility wireless network anywhere in the United States. Users love this too.

This creativity and innovation is expanding the wireless, telecom and yes, the television industry. TV has been a sleepy place for decades, but with new competition from AT&T Uverse, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink (CTL) Prism and now AT&T DirecTV NOW, things are rapidly changing.

Today, this wave of innovation is thanks to AT&T.

So, as AT&T continues to expand, I expect them to continue to grow on many, different fronts. It may be hard to think of them in this new way. To expand our thinking of a well-known brand. However, the company is expanding very quickly into many different areas.

AT&T Growth More Like Google Thank Verizon

We have only begun to see this expansion. The exciting part of this story is AT&T is starting to look more like Google (GOOGL) than Verizon going forward. They are expanding into many different areas. They are also getting started and leading in many other important growth sectors like AI, cloud, IoT and so much more.

So, bottom line, the telecom industry in the United States has been going through wave after wave of transformation, decade after decade. And that change continues today and into tomorrow.

With that said, keep your eyes in AT&T. They have always been a company which leads the charge into new areas of growth and expansion. They were yesterday, they are today and they will continue on this growth path into tomorrow.

Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan

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