We all know that they really did not want to sell DSL to the consumers, hoping somehow to protect their ISDN and T-1 Businesses, but looks like DSL and Wireless are two technologies that are keeping the profit-engine chugging for the Baby Bells. According to Fitch, a Chicago-based bond research and ratings company, if you took out the money they made from wireless and DSL, the regional Bells would be in a lot of trouble. (Perhaps that explains SBC’s valiant attempts to woo me back as a DSL customer… that love is appreciated!) According to Fitch, Bell revenues increased 3.1% in 2004, versus a decline of 0.8% in 2003. DSL sales were up 7.4% for 2004, and nearly 8.2% of total bell users had DSL. Now if they turbocharged these pipes for an extra $10 a month, things could get interesting.
SBC & BellSouth, the parents of Cingular benefitted because they bought AT&T Wireless. Bells lost 5% of access lines in 2004, as more and more people said goodbye to their fixed lines, and decided to shout on the streets on their wireless phones. Take into account the fixed line losses and increase in wireless customers, the Bells saw a net 12.1% addition to their total base. Wireless part of the revenues were up a whopping 20.3% for 2004. Wireless now represents approximately 37% of total consolidated revenues, compared with approximately 29% in 2003.