AT&T Inc. (AT&T), incorporated in 1983, is a holding company. The Company is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and worldwide. The services and products offered by the Company include wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, wholesale services and directory advertising and publishing. AT&T operates in four segments: Wireless, Wireline, Advertising Solutions and Other. The Company’s Wireless subsidiaries provide both wireless voice and data communications services across the United States, and through roaming agreements, in a substantial number of foreign countries. Wireline subsidiaries provide primarily landline voice and data communication services, AT&T U-verse TV, high-speed broadband and voice services (U-verse) and managed networking to business customers. Advertising solutions subsidiaries publish Yellow and White Pages directories and sell directory advertising and Internet-based advertising and local search. AT&T’s Other segment includes customer information services (operator services) and corporate and other operations.
The Company’s local exchange subsidiaries operate as the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in 22 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin (22-state area). AT&T offers its services and products to consumers in the United States, and services and products to businesses and other providers of telecommunications services worldwide.
Wireless consists of the Company’s subsidiary, AT&T Mobility LLC (AT&T Mobility), which operates as a wireless provider to both business and consumer customers. As of December 31, 2011, it had more than 103 million wireless subscribers. AT&T’s wireless services include basic local wireless communications service, long-distance service and roaming services. The Company also offers pre-paid voice service to certain customers who prefer to control usage or pay in advance. The Company classifies its customers as either postpaid, prepaid, connected device or reseller. AT&T offers a range of nationwide wireless voice and data communications services in a variety of pricing plans, including postpaid and pre-paid service plans. Its voice service is offered on a contract basis for one- or two-year periods, which includes postpaid. Under the terms of these contracts, service is billed and provided on a monthly basis according to the applicable rate plan chosen. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company's Wireless segment provided approximately 50% of the total segment operating revenues.
The Company sells a range of handsets, wirelessly enabled computers (which include notebooks and tablets) and personal computer wireless data cards manufactured by various suppliers for use with its voice and data services. It sells through its own Company-owned stores or through agents or third-party retail stores. The Company also sells accessories, such as carrying cases, hands-free devices, batteries, battery chargers and other items, to consumers, as well as to agents and other third-party distributors for resale. Like other wireless service providers, it provides postpaid contract subscribers substantial equipment subsidies to initiate or upgrade service.
AT&T’s Wireline subsidiaries provide both retail and wholesale communication services domestically and internationally. The Company divides its wireline services into three product-based categories: voice, data and other. The Company provides data services that rely on Internet protocol (IP)-based technology and data services that rely on circuit-based technology. It provides businesses voice applications over IP-based networks (which include enhanced virtual private networks (EVPN)). Additional IP-based services include Internet access and network integration, Internet and enterprise networking services, U-verse services and related data equipment sales. During 2011, its Wireline segment provided approximately 47% of its segment operating revenues.
The Company’s circuit-based, traditional data products include switched and transport that allow business customers to transport data at high speeds, as well as digital subscriber line (DSL) and dial-up Internet access. AT&T’s private line offering uses digital circuits to transmit from point-to-point in multiple configurations and allows customers to create internal data networks and to access external data networks. Switched Transport services transmit data using switching equipment to transfer the data between multiple lines before reaching its destination.
Network integration services include installation of business data systems, local area networking and other data networking offerings. Internet access services include a range of products for residences and businesses, including basic dial-up access service, access, Web hosting, managed services, e-mail and high-speed access services. Its managed Web-hosting services for businesses provide network, server and security infrastructure, as well as built-in data storage and include application performance management, database management, hardware and operating system management. AT&T’s hosting services also provide customers with secure access to detailed reporting information about their infrastructure and applications.
Packet services consist of data networks using packet switching and transmission technologies, including traditional circuit-based, and IP connectivity services. Enterprise networking services provide support from network design, implementation and installation to ongoing network operations and management for networks of varying scales, including LANs, wide area networks, and virtual private networks. These services include applications, such as e-mail, order entry systems, employee directories, human resource transactions and other database applications. AT&T also offers wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) services.
The Company provides local, interstate and international wholesale networking capacity to other service providers. It offers a combination of high-volume transmission capacity and conventional line services on a regional, national and international basis to wireless carriers, interexchange carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and facility-based and switchless resellers. AT&T’s wholesale customers are primarily large ISPs, wireless carriers, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), regional phone companies, interexchange carriers, cable companies and systems integrators. Voice includes traditional local and long-distance service provided to retail customers and wholesale access to its network and individual network elements. As of December 31, 2011, AT&T’s wireline subsidiaries served approximately 19 million retail consumer access lines, 16 million retail business access lines and two million wholesale access lines.
Long distance consists of traditional long distance and international long distance for customers that select the Company as their primary long-distance carrier. Long distance also includes services provided by calling card, 1-800 services and conference calling. These services are used in a range of business applications, including sales, reservation centers or customer service centers. AT&T also provides wholesale switched access service to other service providers. Voice also includes calling features, fees to maintain wire located inside customer premises and other miscellaneous voice products. Calling features are telephone services available to retail customers, such as Caller ID, Call Waiting and voice mail.
Other services include application management, security service, integration services, customer premises equipment, outsourcing, government-related services, and satellite video services. Security services include business continuity and disaster recovery services, as well as premise and network-based security products. Customer premises equipment and other equipment sales range from single-line and cordless telephones to digital private branch exchange (PBX) systems. PBX is a private telephone switching system, used by businesses and usually located on a customer’s premises, which provides intra-premise telephone services, as well as access to its network.
Advertising Solutions includes the Company’s directory operations, which publish Yellow and White Pages directories and sell directory advertising and Internet-based advertising and local search. This segment sells advertising services throughout the United States, with its print directory operations primarily covering its 22-state area. During 2011, Advertising Solutions segment provided approximately 3% of total segment operating revenues.
The Company’s Other segment includes customer information services (operator services). The Other segment also include the Company’s investment in Telefonos de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. and America Movil, S.A. de C.V.
The Company competes with Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile, Metro PCS, Cricket, Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., Orange Business Services, British Telecom, SingTel and Verizon Communications Inc. and HP Enterprise Services.