The following press release is attributable to AT&T.
AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T) announced today that the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results will be released before 7:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. At 8:30 a.m. ET the same day, AT&T will host a conference call to discuss the results. The company’s earnings release, Investor Briefing and related materials will be available at AT&T Investor Relations.
A live webcast of the call will also be available at AT&T Investor Relations, and the webcast replay will be available shortly after the call ends.
Although AT&T’s earnings calls tend to be fairly somber affairs, it seems like the days surrounding them are full of controversy. In recent months there have been questions about AT&T’s TV NOW product as well as the ongoing viability of its DIRECTV satellite product.
Rest assured, it’s all good
DIRECTV Satellite is here to stay, regardless of what financial analysts say. Yes I get it. The world runs on money and DIRECTV generally loses subscribers in most quarters. So does basically every pay-TV company the last five years and if you look at DIRECTV’s losses as a percentage they are much lower than the competition.
AT&T has launched three huge satellites in the last two years to keep DIRECTV viable and that more than anything else tells me they’re not going away.
As for the never-ending rumor of DISH and DIRECTV merging, I’ve put my opinions in writing multiple times in the past several years. From a technical perspective, the two companies are simply too different and the cost of reconciling the two systems could be too high. To me this is a case where finance types who know nothing about satellite see two companies providing similar products and think they must be identical.
As for AT&T TV NOW, I think we’ll see some guidance in the next several months there. I know that we’re all looking forward to the launch of HBO Max in the next few months. There have been some rumors that AT&T TV NOW could be folded into that service as a “live channels upgrade.” That could make sense. It’s clear from the overall state of the market that there isn’t as much demand for a full-featured live TV service as maybe some people thought. Keeping some key live channels or adding different subscription options might be a good choice there.
The future of cellular
One thing you should expect, if there’s any tech talk on this call at all, is to hear a lot about 5G. The cellular industry is pushing 5G hard. After limited launches in 2018 and 2019, expect 2020 to be the year of 5G. You’ll see accelerated launches of 5G service throughout the country from AT&T and other carriers, as well as a spate of new phones that will work with 5G in the cellular bands. I think you’ll also see a better understanding of how millimeter-wave 5G will work in the coming years. That’s the service that will deliver the lowest latency and fastest speeds, fulfilling the true promise of 5G.
I think you’ll also start to hear more about fixed wireless 5G, which is the cellular technology that could replace your home internet. I really thought this would be the first implementation of 5G but cities and towns have been slow to allow the infrastructure. Fixed Wireless 5G will take more cell towers and that’s still something that cities and towns have a say in.