Image: AT&T CEO John Stankey. Source: AT&T
AT&T ( T) CEO John Stankey took one of the steps to save Ma Bell. So what’s next? The last couple of years he has spent the assets of WarnerMedia CNN, Warner Brothers, and DirecTV. Now AT&T is back to the good old Ma Bell. Let’s go back to the basics of 5G wireless, telecommunications, broadband, the Internet, data networks, fiber and the like. Now it’s time for the next step.
So, what’s the next step for Ma Bell? Can Stankey take the company to the next step and restart its growth engines. We’ll see.
AT&T has been on a rocky road for ten years
AT&T has been in hell for the last decade. You see, investors are putting incredible pressure for growth on every company and every CEO. Most investors simply do not care about the long-term viability and competitive nature of the company. Most likely, most investors are focused on making money.
However, the CEO should focus on the growth and stability of the company moving forward as well as on the share price. And that’s a shame for many companies.
That’s where AT&T went off the flight in the last decade. In search of growth, he wanted to expand into new areas. The company saw that Comcast ( CMCSA) did and wanted to duplicate the effort. Comcast Xfinity has teamed up with NBC Universal to get into wireless and mobile services. So far, the combined organization is working well even in the context of the pandemic of the last two years.
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile are on the rise again
AT&T could have been another big success story, but it was used too much. There was no room for error, and when the pressure of the last few years from business bugs to Covid-19 hit, it was just more than the company could handle.
AT&T was not the only victim of this volatile era.
Verizon (COM) V.Z) also suffered greatly. A few years ago on CNBC, its CEO said that investors should not expect growth for a long time. The company then acquired AOL and Yahoo in search of growth beyond wireless and telecommunications. However, these acquisitions did not lead to growth, and Verizon separated them as AT&T separated WarnerMedia and DirecTV.
T-Mobile ( TMUS) was ambiguous. At first, it was the smallest and weakest of the four leading wireless operators before spending years rebuilding its network and making up for lost time. Eventually, the company acquired Sprint, which was good, but it also tried wireless pay-TV, which, like AT&T and Verizon, failed. So Verizon came out of this business.
Shocked when AT&T dropped to third place after Verizon, T-Mobile
For the past few years, Verizon has remained the number one competitor in wireless, while AT&T has become so distracted from the entertainment and news business that it has turned its eyes away from the wireless ball.
During this time, T-Mobile acquired Sprint, and joint growth allowed the company to surpass AT&T as the number two wireless player.
It was a shock to the system for AT&T, its investors, workers and executives who found Ma Bell as the number three player in the three-way race.
So AT&T got lost and something dramatic had to be done to save it. It was then that John Senkey took over as CEO of AT&T with a bold plan to undo all the changes the company has made in recent years.
What will happen to AT&T under CEO John Senkey?
So I will take my hat off to John Stenky for this great victory for him and for the company. Next question: what will happen to AT&T?
That’s what we need to watch. Wireless communication has once again become a fast growing industry as 5G continues to grow rapidly. Artificial intelligence, IoT, metapopulation, broadband, data networks and more will be in the headlines later.
This is a good growth opportunity for Ma Bell if she can use what she has and start her next wave of growth.
Here’s what I’ll keep my eyes open to see. Can AT&T do that?
AT&T to launch next wave of 5G, wireless, broadband and telecommunications
Now that AT&T has cleared all the debris from the runway of disasters with acquisitions over the past decade, perhaps the company could become a solid driver of growth in wireless, telecommunications and broadband.
I hope so. Nothing is guaranteed. It’s hard to start a stalled growth engine, but if Stankey and AT&T can do it, then in the next decade they will be able to see a time of incredible strength and growth.
All competitors, including Verizon, T-Mobile and others, face the same task. Finally, when we look ahead and look at today’s service executives, we see that they are all in the right place and at the right time.
This could mean they can all see incredible growth in the coming years.
AT&T is in the right place to launch its next generation. Hmm. AT&T next generation. There is a ring in this. Let’s hope so.
Jeff Kagan is a columnist for Equities News. Kagan is a wireless analyst, technology analyst and commentator who monitors telecommunications, pay TV, cloud, AI, IoT, TeleHealth, healthcare, car, car and more. Email him at jeff@jeffKAGAN.com. His website www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeffkogan and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-kagan/.
Promotion news columnist: Jeff Kagan
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