Still the total was more than double what AT&T recorded in the year-ago quarter and put the carrier at 2.4 million postpaid net adds for the year to date.
The quarterly net adds for AT&T came from 6.8 million postpaid smartphone gross adds and upgrades, with 3.4 million of those gross adds and upgrades on AT&T Next. Next customers represent 20 percent of the base but many more are off the subsidy model, which CFO John Stephens said represents 20 million potential Next customers.
More than 400,000 BYOD devices came in during the quarter, which Stephens said impacted the Next take rate but, while they didn’t bring in revenue necessarily, they also didn’t cost the company anything.
Combining postpaid and connected device numbers, AT&T saw a third-quarter net increase of 2 million in wireless subscribers.
The gains in connected devices include 500,000 connected cars. But AT&T shed 140,000 prepaid customers, a loss attributed to declines in session-based tablets and an expected reduction in Cricket subscribers.
Despite the prepaid losses, AT&T’s total wireless revenue rose nearly five percent annually to $18.3 billion, while wireless service revenues basically stayed flat at $15.4 billion. The carrier also recorded a record-low 0.99 percent third-quarter postpaid churn.
AT&T now counts nearly 47 million connections, or about 62 percent of postpaid subscribers, on AT&T Mobile Share. More than half of Mobile Share accounts are opting for 10 gigabytes or higher plans.
AT&T lowered its annual revenue growth outlook from five percent to somewhere between three and four percent.
AT&T shares fell in after-hours trading on the carrier falling short of analysts’ estimates for revenue and earnings.