AT&T President and CEO Randall Stephenson is sounding a lot like his counterpart at Verizon, Lowell McAdam.
During a morning talk at the UBS Investor Conference, Stephenson expressed AT&T’s interest in continuing to pursue more content deals.
“There are 30 million homes in the United States that don’t have a pay-TV subscription,” Stephenson said. “Putting together a bundle of content that they can acquire over a smaller screen, or to a single screen in a home that’s not connected to a set-top box or multiple rooms…that is something we are very interested in and that is something you should assume we’ll be bringing to the market.”
Stephenson referenced AT&T’s work with Chernin Media Group to acquire a majority stake in the millennial-focused Fullscreen as the kind of moves AT&T will be eyeing as it looks to bring something similar to Verizon’s go90 to market.
He added that everything will depend on acquiring enough rights to put a mobile-centric package together.
When asked whether the FCC’s net neutrality rules are a concern as it considers rolling out a content package, Stephenson said he thought AT&T could play within those rules. That said, he worries that the current court battle could muddle the regulatory environment.
“What is really to us interesting – what happens if the courts overturn parts of this but not others,” Stephenson speculated. “Stay tuned, this is going to be interesting.”
Stephenson also reiterated previous comments on falling capital expenditures, saying the move to an all-IP infrastructure was one of the driving forces behind a reduction in network spend. He noted that AT&T’s choice of GSM network technology in the early days required it to build out a more dense network, putting it ahead of the game as it looks to densify now.
“Our capital requirements in terms of achieving the cell site density are going to be much lower,” Stephenson said, adding that laying 40 MHz of fallow spectrum stores on top the network will also bring down costs.
On the topic of Mexico, where AT&T now owns a pair of wireless carriers, Stephenson said AT&T expects aggressive competition on both sides of the border.