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AT&T adds 691,000 postpaid phone subs in Q1 2022

AT&T today reported 691,000 postpaid phone net adds during its first quarter 2022, topping most analyst’s expectations. Its postpaid phone churn was a low 0.79%.

John Stankey, AT&T CEO, said, “We had our best first quarter for postpaid phone net adds in more than a decade.”

The company said total postpaid phone net adds excludes impacts of AT&T’s 3G network shutdown of more than 400,000 postpaid phones.

AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches said, “Consistent with industry practice, we have treated this reduction as an adjustment of our base at the beginning of the period.”

Asked if the postpaid phone net adds included any additions from the 3G shutdown, Stankey elaborated, “The short answer is no. When we count net adds, a migration of the 3G customer to another service plan isn't a net add, that's just the migration. I would actually say, this is probably one of the best air interface transitions I've ever seen.”

Desroches added, “Just as a reference point, 300,000 of the net adds this quarter were from FirstNet. Again, nothing to do with the 3G migrations.”

The company also reported 113,000 prepaid phone net adds, during the quarter.

Revenues in its mobile division were up 5.5% year-over-year.

During the past year, AT&T divested its DirecTV interest and spun off its Warner Media division. Taking those divestitures into account and other one-time expenses, the standalone AT&T’s earnings rose from 58 cents in Q1 2021 to 63 cents in Q1 2022. The company's stock rose about 3.5% after its earnings report today.

Stankey and Desroches continued to stress the company’s main talking point, which it first laid out in its investor meeting in mid-March: that the now slimmed-down AT&T is keenly focused on its core connectivity offerings of 5G and fiber.

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