This summer was a big one for the 4G car, and AT&T became a big beneficiary. Both Audi and GM started rolling out their LTE-embedded vehicle lines in the U.S. this year, helping AT&T add more than 500,000 cars to its network in the third quarter.
AT&T brought 2 million net new connections to its network in Q3, and while smartphone and tablets contributed big chunks to that total (530,000 and 342,000 net adds respectively) the car provided a huge boost. Not only is AT&T connecting GM and Audis to its LTE network it’s providing the 3G connectivity linking Tesla and new Volvo vehicles in the U.S.
The connected car could become a significant growth area for carriers as more vehicles get embedded radios, and AT&T is better positioned then most to take advantage of that market. AT&T has won almost every significant 4G car contract of late.
AT&T lost 140,000 prepaid customers, showing it’s still having trouble holding on to Cricket Communications customers after it bought Leap Wireless, but those prepaid subscriber losses were nowhere the 405,000-customer exodus it recorded in the 2nd quarter.
AT&T reported revenues of $33 billion for the third quarter, up to 2.5 percent from last year, but profits fell from $3.8 billion to $3 billion year-over-year.