AT&T posted a disappointing $6.7 billion loss for last quarter, most of which was due to a large fee for the failed T-Mobile merger, which cost the company $4 billion. The major underlying concern, however, is the lower profit margin on smartphone sales, which exceeded 25 million units last year. While riding the wave of smartphone sales will be a profitable move in the long run, the AT&T needs to boost its margin on them to have any hope of capturing the number one wireless provider spot, currently held by Verizon Wireless.
As competition becomes fiercer and smaller carriers like Sprint redouble their efforts to take a piece of the smartphone pie, savvy financial advisors are critical to developing strong policies and goals to take AT&T to the lead. An online degree in finance can provide you with the skills and knowledge to advise small business and major companies alike.
AT&T really needs to look into providing value-added services to its members, above and beyond the status quo for wireless services. As it stands, there isn't a whole lot to distinguish the two major carriers from another, and a wise financial plan would include new innovations to bring in new customers who are looking for more from their wireless provider.
While capturing new subscribers comes at a high initial cost, AT&T needs to focus on winning over new smartphone customers to help attain that coveted number one position. At the same time, it needs to work on improving margins on smartphone sales to help with its goal of buying more wireless spectrum to provide greater access to data coverage.
AT&T is already doing well on obtaining new subscribers, adding 717,000 subscribers for the fourth quarter, a big improvement over the estimated 570,000 analysts predicted, but these subscribers appear to be doing little to boost profits for the company.
As a trained financial advisor with an online degree in finance, you could be poised to suggest breakthrough service offerings to help boost retailers' flagging profit margins. Smartphones are the future of wireless, so emphasizing services to boost sales of these devices can help improve AT&T's financial outlook far into the future, eventually boosting it to the top of American wireless sales.
Who's your wireless provider and why are you with them? What can they do to keep you as a happy customer?