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Why AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Lost Interest in Pay TV: Jeff Kagan

Why AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon lost interest in pay TV. Why they now see 5G, wireless and Internet as their real growth opportunities for the next decade.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

Image source: Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

Recently, there seems to be a massive rethinking of future growth paths by the nation’s largest wireless and telephone companies. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon were all on new growth paths having to do with pay TV, entertainment, news and so on. Why have these carriers suddenly pulled out of these new avenues for growth and refocused on their core services?

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are still the largest and most important companies in telecom and wireless. They are also three of the top providers of high-speed Internet. Other top players are Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Altice and Cox.

Over the last several years, these companies were all looking for new avenues of growth. They had to find these new gold mines to keep their investors happy.

That being said, in an effort to fuel the next generation of growth, they all started expanding in new directions. These new directions, however, didn’t seem to pan out for these companies.

Things are different today. We are clearly in the early stages of 5G, which is the next generation of wireless services. There is an enormous growth opportunity here to not only transform the wireless industry, but also to transform other industries that will use this technology.

As an example, think of how Uber and Lyft transformed the taxi and limousine industry with 4G in the last decade.

The move to pay TV, television, news and entertainment seems to have been in full gear until it suddenly stopped. In recent months all the telephone and wireless leaders spun off or closed down these new efforts.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon refocusing on core 5G wireless and Internet

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, which are the leaders in 5G wireless, telephone and Internet, have gone back to their core businesses. That is their strength. That is good news for investors, customers and workers.

The efforts to expand their business into pay TV and entertainment have put stress on their current leadership stance. Now, going back to their core, I believe they will once again show strength for investors and the marketplace in general.

5G is the next generation in the wireless revolution

Remember, when this effort to find growth began, it was a long-term vision. The fact of the matter is this. 5G is the most important step, and we are just in the very early days of this revolution which will continue over the next decade.

Companies like Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and others that lead in the move to 5G are showing ongoing and strong growth. They build 5G networks for carriers worldwide.

There is no reason AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile cannot do the same focusing on 5G wireless growth. There are so many other industries that want to use 5G to take the next growth leap. Think autonomous vehicles, telemedicine and more.

Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and others lead 5G network space

5G wireless will be bigger than 4G, 3G and 2G of the past. Each of these other steps only focused on improving the wireless network.

5G does this as well but goes much further. Every company in every other industry will transform themselves to take advantage of 5G.

This next decade will be an enormous growth opportunity not only for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, but for other companies in other industries as well.

Wireless growth comes from 5G, Internet, AI and IoT

Again, think of how Uber and Lyft reengineered the entire taxi and limousine industries, both nationwide and in fact worldwide

5G wireless and Internet along with AI and IoT are the areas in which companies like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile should focus.

Moving away from entering an entirely new set of industries like pay TV, news, entertainment and more, and sticking to their core business, which thanks to 5G is going through its own revolution, is the right way to go.


Jeff Kagan is an Equities News columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Technology Analyst and Commentator who follows Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive, Self-Driving cars and more. Email him at [email protected] His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn


Equities Columnist: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News


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