Speaking at an investor conference, AT&T CEO and senior executive vice president John Stephens said the company is looking forward to the future of wireless video content following its recent merger with DirecTV.
Among wireless service and content providers, Stephens said AT&T is in a unique position.
“What you’ll see us develop is entertainment and information services that we can deliver on an integrated basis, through your phone, through your television,” Stephens said. “We’ll continue to see Over-the-Top develop, we think there’s really a big opportunity there for us…and now we have the video content relationships to put that together. We’re open for business to talk to the content guys and we’re certainly reaching out to them.”
Stephens said the initial offerings of wireless and TV bundles have “exceeded expectations,” and said the company is excited about the opportunity in bundling, as the company hopes it can woo some of the 15 million DirecTV customers who don’t use AT&T for their wireless service.
During the 45-minute question and answer session, Stephens also weighed the merits of EIP versus leasing options for new devices in the context of device-maker Apple’s introduction of its own phone payment plan at yesterday’s launch event.
“It’s a good thing right now because it gives a complete differentiation between what you’re paying for the handset versus what you’re paying for the service,” Stephens said of device installment plans offered by hardware companies.
“I think there’s more value to EIP than leasing though because with leasing you pay forever,” he continued. “But our decisions are driven by what’s best for customers. We have not said we wouldn’t lease. If that’s what our customers want, we’re open to it.”