AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey took the keynote stage at Mobile World Congress on Monday and delivered the following message: the mobile pure play is dead – content is the future.
According to Stankey, the future of telecoms will involve offering consumers the software-based options they want, no matter the delivery platform, to give them added value and a “voice.” Interestingly, his delivery of these remarks carried a somewhat noticeable T-Mobile-esque Un-carrier tinge.
“Our previous course and direction failed to value customers when they really craved appreciation. We offered them prepackaged solutions when they craved customization,” Stankey said. “We added steps, hoops, rules, and requirements when simpler models were emerging everywhere. We perfected the model of offering customers more for more, but in truth they want more for less.”
Going forward, Stankey said AT&T will be guided by five principles – and chief among them is the idea that video will be the dominant payload on future networks. Stankey said the carrier can’t imagine a future in which AT&T is relevant if it doesn’t participate in some of that traffic flowing through its pipes.
Stankey noted consumption on the network will be driven by how customers engage and entertain themselves rather than by what he called “the Gs,” and said that means compelling content will be key for success moving forward.
As part of this movement, AT&T will transform from being a “phone and broadband distribution company to a company of tastes” and will be judged accordingly, he said.
“Do you like what we’re serving? How we’re serving it? How does it align with your needs and tastes and is it delivered on your terms?” Stankey said. “This is the direction we march … The experience needs to transcend managed and unmanaged networks and we best get comfortable with engineering the product value into the integrated software experience and not solely relying on connectivity … you can’t acquire and retain customers today with connectivity alone.”