2012 Consumer Analyst Conference:
AT&T has succesfully disrupted an existing service model – pay TV – with its U-Verse TV (and high speed Internet)service bundle. SBC Communications, which acquired AT&T, began building U-Verse as part of its Project Lightspeed broadband access network in 2004 and initiated commercial U-Verse service in a controlled release in San Antonio, TX in December 2005. That network consists of fiber to the node with VDSL based copper drops to homes. Compression is used to enable up to 4 separate TV streams over VDSL, including HD as well as SD.
With 4.34 million video subscribers and still growing rapidly, AT&T is now the seventh largest pay TV provider in the United States. U-Verse reached that position in less than seven years (Verizon has reached #6, with 4.59 million; in about the same length of time). Before U-Verse and in areas its not available now, AT&T resells Dish satellite TV service as part of a double or triple or quad play service bundle.
Many new and planned AT&T U-Verse TV features and second screen apps were described during the company’s 2012 Consumer Industry Analyst Conference in Atlanta,GA- the first such event for AT&T. AT&T representatives said that the interactive apps for U-Verse have significantly reduced churn – or subscriber loss rate. The AT&T U-Verse App enables users to view the program guide, select programming, control the DVR remotely, and view AT&T’s VOD library. The U-Verse App also allows users to know or select what’s being watched on each TV in the home. According to AT&T, about 80% of the available programming consists of full episodes, while the remaining video content are trailers and other short-form content. It’s that 80% of video content that’s accessible via the U-Verse App.
An excellent report on AT&Ts Consumer Industry Analyst conference is at:
For a summary of second screen app presentations at the 2012 TVNext Conference, including AT&T U-Verse initiatives, please see: http://viodi.com/2012/10/16/second-screen-apps-enhance-viewing-experience-offer-additional-capabilities-tvnext-2012-conference-highlights/
U-Verse over Comcast for triple play bundle:
San Jose Mercury reporter Troy Wolverton wrote a stunning article explaining why he thinks AT&T U-Verse provides a much better value than Comcast Xfinity for a double or triple play service bundle. He compares prices and features side by side with AT&T clearly the winner. I agree completely, especially with the authors comment that Comcast makes no effort to retain customers, even journalists like myself and the author of this article:
Personally, I have been very satisfied with switching from Comcast Xfinity to U-Verse in July 2012.
Here are a few of the reasons why I like U-Verse better than Xfinity:
- Much better price for what you pay for both TV and high speed Internet (I don’t need 30M b/sec or higher speed than that and most consumers don’t either)
- Higher resolution picture quality/ reception- both SD and HD
- Many more TV channels (especially like CNN International) available at reasonable package price
- ZERO outages or hiccups in service in 5 months I”ve had U-Verse Internet and TV service
- No extra charge for DVR or wireless receiver (I use the DVR don’t have the receiver)
- AT&T Executives that truly make an effort to improve U Verse customer service and overall customer experience (rather than be ignored/ neglected)
- Many new advances coming, like anywhere remotes, on screen trouble diagnosis, 2nd screen apps, etc. The Telecompetitor article referenced above is a great example of this trend.
AT&T U-Verse vs Comcast Xfinity double/triple play user survey:
I have been surveying IEEE members on the ComSocSCV discussion list (any IEEE Member can join free by following instructions at www.comsocscv.org) about their experiences with U-Verse and/or Comcast Xfinity. All readers of this post are invited to email me their inputs which will be published anonymously in the survey results.
U-Verse Related articles by this author: