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AT&T barks back and takes the top spot as the nation's #1 carrier

Posted: , by John V.

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AT&T barks back and takes the top spot as the nation's #1 carrier
In their ongoing quest to see who can reign supreme in the US market, AT&T came back barking and took the top spot as being the nation's number one wireless carrier.

For a while there, Verizon has kept a slight lead over its closest competitor, but after adding 2.8 million new customers in the most recent quarter, it has enabled AT&T to tally in at 95.5 million customers and supplants Big Red as the new big dog in town. In contrast, Verizon's stable currently stands in at a respectable 94.1 million customers, but as we near the inevitable launch of the iPhone 4 for them, it's going to be yet another gun battle at the O.K. Corral.

Thanks partly to the 4.1 million new iPhone activated on AT&T's network this past quarter, the carrier has to be happy about a lot; despite no longer having exclusivity on the beloved iPhone. Regardless, we'll look forward to see how things will shape up now that Apple's pride and joy is being offered by another rival carrier.

via SlashGear

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posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:00 9

1. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)

um ya AT&T you can bask in this glory for hmmmm......

another two weeks.


posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:58 2

9. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

So At&t is gonna lose at least 1.5 million customers in 2 weeks? You guys are hilarious. You do realize that At&t still offers the iphone 4(better version) and that you can even get a refurb iphone 4 for $99 with At&t. I guess At&t isn't gonna activate any iphone/smartphone users after 2 weeks. Keep reaching buddy.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:01 2

13. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)

duh... i what way is att iphone better... no unlimited data for new customers.. no hotspot.... no facetime chat without wifi... crappy customer service and crappy signal... keep drinking the koolaid trenitty!

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:16 2

18. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

If you mean in what way, I can still talk/surf at the same time and it's faster imo. Now i've had no problems with signal or customer service, maybe others have but I haven't. btw that hotspot is gonna cost you an additional $20 a month on top of that 1 option $30 unlimited plan and you can't facetime without wifi on iphone 4 vz either if im not mistaken. At&t also has tons of mobile hotspots for free. See i'm not downing vz im simply telling y'all that you sound stupid when you say things like what Narley said.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 21:20

43. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Ah, but there isn't just one data plan option. And there will soon be more. Of course more data is going to cost more, it will cost more on AT&T if it's ever introduced. And how many times do you REALLY, REALLY need the talk/data at the same time? Not often. And with LTE that won't be an issue anymore anyway.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 00:01 1

45. jherz6 (Posts: 216; Member since: 23 May 2008)

A btw it wont I have unlimited data and pay nothing extra for hotspot. Narley is just making a true statement, in that once vzw releases the iphone lets see who is number one. Even AT&T is estimating a 26% loose in there present customers and about 41% in new customers.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:05 5

15. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

Oh they'll definitely continue to activate phones but there are many people that have been waiting years for the verizon iphone and perfer Verizon's service over at&t but stay with at&t because they were iphone exclusive so with people leaving at&t for verizon iphones that's a +2 for each subscriber to verizon

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:23 4

20. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

Like I stated before, I could care less how many customers vz adds, they still have issues just like every other provider. People need to stop acting like they are perfect. My main point is that if people thought At&t's coverage was that bad, nothing would keep them on At&t. It's simply overblown.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:29 5

22. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

Nonsense. The iphone kept alot of people with at&t. Now they have options when it comes to the phone and even if your OPINION is that at&t's service is better that won't stop millions of subs changing from at&t to Verizon

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 17:42 2

32. hawk62 (Posts: 320; Member since: 21 Nov 2009)

So everyone that has att, has an iphone? Really?

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 14:39

59. Immature (unregistered)


posted on 27 Jan 2011, 18:23 1

35. Verizon (Posts: 22; Member since: 14 May 2010)

Have you actually ever had to talk and surf the web at the same time? If yes i would like an example.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 19:02 1

37. TowaniZ (unregistered)

I could. Just the other day I was talking to a friend. We arranging a date for an outing. I'm with Verizon(of course). I just took a laps and said "Let me check my schedule."(I can check my work schedule on my phone over the companies network with access to the internet/Data. Of course I could not because at the same time, I was talking to my friend. It's not drastic for me. I would just wait until I was at my comp. for a outing as unimportant as this one. But I could see how that would be important to the "Multi-tasking/Business oriented" types.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 00:44 1

49. GSM1900user (unregistered)

There are lots of example: 1) use Webex to view presentation and do conference call (very handy for people on the road), 2) talk and email, 3) talk and look up address from google map, 4) talk and look up traffic information, weather, air traffic, etc...

posted on 31 Jan 2011, 20:12

69. RS9568 (Posts: 13; Member since: 22 Jun 2010)

2 hour conference call and I need to game cast my Lakers.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 03:25

50. saneok (Posts: 78; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)

Tre-Nitty I agree with you

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 09:10

53. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)

its called an ETF. ha ha

posted on 29 Jan 2011, 11:27

64. Worf, Son of Moag (unregistered)

What they fail to mention here is how AT&T acquired some of those customers.

First, they finally integrated all the (reluctant) former ALLtel trust customers that the FCC handed them for free after the Verizon buyout.

Second, they offered a few million sheep the opportunity to upgrade early to an iPhone4, so they ended up staying instead of leaving.

So, yeah, they may have added a few subs, but they wouldn't be the biggest if it wasn't for a few freebees added into the mix.

Based on their customer service alone, they wouldn't even have a network.

I love the people that dog Verizon on it's size and say it's all because "who Verizon bought-out", but in the end it's both of the two big carriers doing the same things.

Newsflash: You are running out of competition to buy. Now you have to rest on your own laurels.

I'd bet heavier on Verizon's track record versus AT&T on this one.


posted on 27 Jan 2011, 18:06

34. BobbyTaba (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Aug 2010)

In the next 2 years its gonna become 104 million for verizon and 85 million for att

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 15:16 1

61. cj100570 (Posts: 204; Member since: 12 May 2009)

They don't even have that long to be #1. here's a little light being shed on those numbers;http://phandroid.com/2011/01/28/verizon-were-still-bigger-than-att-me-i-agree/

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:02 1

2. Justplaindave (unregistered)

Noone likes a monopoly. I feel bad for all those folks who don't live in a good AT&T coverage area but want an iPhone. Now's their chance to have their cake and eat it, too.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:08 8

3. ribbonsalmark (Posts: 84; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

Congrats AT&T. #1 in most customers.

Now if you weren't ranked dead last in customer support we would have something wouldnt we.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:37 2

6. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

Blah, Blah, Blah same boring joke. At&t has never given me a problem and I have VZ for work and it's downright terrible and extremely slow. Stop sucking VZ tit and realize At&t is going nowhere and they are #1 again. If so many people thought At&t service sucked as bad as people claim, they would lose customers in droves but instead they just added 4.1 million to overtake your beloved VZ. They are both good in certain areas but I think At&t is better. Like jeffdabeat always says, pick whatever works best for you.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:58 4

10. VChad (unregistered)

Where do you work? AT&T Headquarters? The only spot in the US with spotty V-Coverage.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:20 4

19. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

No, I don't work in Dallas or Atlanta. I work primarily in the Tampa Bay area. So come with the next joke. Don't get mad at me because vz is 2nd place, like you get some kinda incentive if they are #1. If they provide good service to you i'm happy for you but with the laptop and cell phone they provide for us at work, they are complete trash. At&t has people who think the same thing. Get over it, vz doesn't have the perfect network, not even close but they do have a slow network. That's a fact. Look it up.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:12 2

4. MrJazzPurr27 (unregistered)

I don't think the Iphone 4 will blow up like everyone thinks it will when it hits verizon, but then again it may will b/c of word of mouth. But the question is will it have the same issue ATT had with network cludder and oh yeah That Antenna issue again is everyone going to get a free case b/c of it, or was that solution solved?

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:03 1

14. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)


posted on 29 Jan 2011, 02:06

62. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

Was never solved. The new antenna design is to accommodate the CDMA radio. Not a fix.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:23 2

5. Cell Guy (unregistered)

The one thing to remember on the Verizon Iphone is that it cant work worldwide. Its not 4g so its half the speed of at&t's network. And one of the most important issues is you can't do the multitaking that apple commercials first showed. like being on a call and emailing or searching something online or ANYTHING that involves 2 things at once. Sorry guys, America's oldest and largest communications company is back to 1.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 00:11 1

47. jherz6 (Posts: 216; Member since: 23 May 2008)

That may be true but neither is the AT&T version of the iphone its the iphone 4 not 4g. As far as AT&T being number 1 lets see what happens after the tenth.

posted on 29 Jan 2011, 02:09

63. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

He didn't claim that att's iPhone is 4G bit it is definitely faster. And the multitasking is a huge deal breaker. If I am unable to access my emails or datasheets during my conference calls there's no way I'll switch.

posted on 31 Jan 2011, 16:41

68. marshefen (Posts: 24; Member since: 27 Jan 2011)

You can access your emails and datasheets while on a call with VZW. You just won't get new emails or being to send them while on calls.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:38 2

7. Twin21 (unregistered)

Guess we will se how Verizons Network supports all the Apple freaks. Even though Verizon already has better phones then the Iph4-(not 4g or lte) but the apple craze will hit their customers as well. Watch out for the iphone zombies.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:48 6

8. bob rhine (unregistered)

You do realize that ATT counted connected devices as part of their adds and verizon didn’t, right? if Verizon counted those in their net adds, they would be over 100+ million. Verizon and ATT reported their subscribers differently. ATT most likely did it to confuse people like you.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 15:58 1

11. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

Where do you get your information?

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:49 1

26. bob rhine (unregistered)

what do you mean? it's the information in both company's press releases. why don't you think ATT has said they are now the nations largest carrier? if they were, they would've plastered that all over their press release but they didn't do that once. that's because they aren't. read their press releases in detail and you'll see what i'm talking about. why do you think theres only one site saying that?

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:56 2

27. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

calm down It was just a question. I'm at a work station where mose sites are blocked from access so I haven't been able to see any further details other then P.A.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 19:23

38. TowaniZ (unregistered)

That would have meant that the confused Phone arena as well. While it is possible, it is not likely.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 21:42

44. blank (unregistered)

Thank you for pointing that out. VZW would be around 103 mln if they posted "Connected" devices as well. But you since ATT doesn't say that, places like phonearena will never mention it. So no ATT, you are still #2 by your math.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:00 3

12. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

There's a high possibility that Verizon will take the top spot again after the release of the iphone.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:11 4

16. VZWAGENT555 (unregistered)

Before you post sensationalist stories in order to drive up click thru ad revenue, you should do your research. When Verizon reports customer numbers, we *do not* report "other devices" as part of our aggregate total. (Other devices = Tablets, machine to machine, kindle type connection devices, etc). ATT *DOES* tabulate that in the report. ATT total count is 95.5 million, which includes 9.3 million of these devices. Verizon's count is 94.1 million, *NOT INCLUDING* 8.1 million of these other devices. So, by ATT count method, VZW is 102.2 million, and ATT is 95.5 million.

All of this info available freely, through 5 minutes of real, actual journalistic effort.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:13

17. 09lexus (unregistered)

Be happy while ur on top it will change very soon and all those adds are from the altell merger. U only had 400000 real adds in q4.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:25 1

21. tuminatr (Posts: 773; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)

personally I think you need to take into account that AT&T figures in there resellers into this number and Verizon does not.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:34 3

23. Unbelievable... (unregistered)

Wow, talk about a bunch of fanboys,...gesh. I like verizon you like AT&T who cares. If you don't like your service, switch, if you do stay where your at. Good on AT&T, but I do think the two will be neck-and-neck for the foreseable future.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:38 1

24. slowverizon (unregistered)

i went from a iphone 4 on att to an android on verizon about 2.5 months ago. worst move i've ever made. slowest 3g ever and i am in a metro area (cincinnati, OH) with plenty of towers. verizon even admitted to me that they have slow 3g but that is the sacrifice for "stability". i never had an issues with att and I bet it is at least 2x's as fast as verizon. once the iphone 5 comes out (for the wife, not sure what i want yet between an newer android or iphone 5) I will be selling my phone to pay of the ETF and heading back to ATT.

Verizon Sucks!!!

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 16:39 1

25. heyitzme (Posts: 87; Member since: 03 Jan 2011)

Lol Tre-Nitty? is that you?

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 00:18 1

48. jherz6 (Posts: 216; Member since: 23 May 2008)

What good is speed when the service is poor? I would rather have a stable, reliable network instead a speedy crashy one. Did you hear about that n.y. they had to stop selling the iphone for a while because the network couldnt handle all the users?, and AT&T is so fantastic there customers wouldnt be chomping at the bit to leave when vzw has the iphone.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 10:31 1

56. slowverizon (unregistered)

yeah 500-600kbps on Verizon's "stable" network is definitely better than the 1300-1500kbps that I was able to get everywhere i went on ATT's. Including indoors, where Verizon sucks even more. Verizon is garbage, the reason they want to push LTE is b/c their 3g is trash.

posted on 30 Jan 2011, 11:36

65. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)

evdo rev a supports up to 1.3 mb/s dl and 800kb/s upload. everytime i test my phone i have never gotten under 1mb/s. guess it depends on where u live.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 17:22 5

28. winner (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)

Seriously, who cares? The iphone isn't worth all the hype. I've used one and wasn't at all impressed.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 17:25 3

29. mario (unregistered)

Lol. Is it cool or something to hate on att and praise every other company? I've had att since 2005. Never had an issue. Customer service has always been great. They helped me save over $300 one month cause of unexpected overages on my mins. My brother has Verizon and never has coverage in his apt. T-Mobile had the worse customer service ever. They charged me for a phone and service I didn't even have. I guess I should join the crowd cause my 3g signal is flirting between 5 and 4 bars and not just staying at 5... lol

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 17:26 3

30. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 272; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)

ha! the more customers for att the worse their network! verizon will always succeed in the end! att sucks!

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 17:40

31. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 468; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)

Lol naw heyitzme I don't hide behind fake names.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 18:33 3

36. lollerskates (unregistered)

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9206778/Verizon_Wireless_still_ahead_of_AT_T_in_apples_to_app les_customer_comparison

Articles spells it out perfectly. Apples to Apples, VZW is still king of the mountain.

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 19:41 1

40. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

good call....at this point either company has the amounts of subs equalled to T-MOB and SPRINT combined...

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 19:39 1

39. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

You all realize that both companies only care about their bottom lines...and not what their customers think? Right? If you do not like one or the other or both, then switch. Stop crying/sniveling/whining about it.
And, for those that give a negative rating for someone who likes AT&T - get a life and grow up.....

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 20:03

41. Darren (unregistered)

Phone arena. If you count connected devices (SEE VZW press release) They are millions ahead of ATT

"The company had a total of 94.1 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter. In addition, the company had 8.1 million other connections -- such as machine-to-machine and telematics. This was an increase of 186,000 net other connections in the quarter, and brought the number of total wireless connections to 102.2 million at year-end 2010.

from: http://news.vzw.com/news/2011/01/pr2011-01-25.html

posted on 27 Jan 2011, 20:50

42. jcoberg10 (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)

Heyitzme: From ATT


key area separated below..... good luck with all the prepaid and reseller ativations att!

AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 2.8 million, to reach
95.5 million in service, the best net gain in the company’s history. Full-year net
adds totaled 8.9 million (adjusted for mergers and acquisitions), the company’s
best-ever annual total. Fourth-quarter net add growth reflects rapid adoption of
smartphones, increases in prepaid subscribers, strength in the reseller channel
and a record quarter in connected devices. AT&T also had a strong tablet
quarter, a new growth area for the company. It added 442,000 iPad- and
Android-based tablets to its network, with more than 90 percent of these
booked to the prepaid category.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -
Retail net adds for the quarter include postpaid net adds of 400,000 and
prepaid net adds of 307,000. Connected device net adds were 1.5 million, and
reseller net adds were 595,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Postpaid churn was 1.15 percent, matching last year’s best-ever fourth-quarter
record. Total churn was a record-low fourth-quarter level of 1.32 percent versus
1.42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 00:02 1

46. Rock9900 (unregistered)

Here's the truth:
I've been reading these posts for a year and now I gotta chime in. I have both AT&T,Verizon & T-Mo. I've also had Sprint in the last year. I drive 1000 miles per week in New Jersey and New York. AT&T & Verizon are virtually identical when it comes to coverage. I have iphone 3Gs & 4, T-Mo's had Blackberry 9780 and Motorola Defy, AT&T's Blackberry 9700, Verizon's Blackberry 9650, HTC Eris & Incredible, LG Ally, Motorola Droid 1,2, Pro & X. X was very good but sound quality was quirky, camera sometimes dissapointed and was too friggin big. Iphone 3Gs was great but too many drops and has been surpassed by droids. Iphone 4 is great, apps are more polished than droids but droids keep improving almost daily. Camera and screen are the best period. Calls still drop too much though. BUT, I dropped calls on the droids too! I also have noticed in the last year or so the sound quality of conversations on Verizon seems to have degraded. Maybe smartphones are taking their toll on VZW? ALSO, I have unlocked the Motorola Defy and am using it on AT&T and I'm telling you all now, aside from the processor needing a little boost to 1GB like on the Pro and giving the camera a little better low light capability, this Defy is the best phone I've ever had. I almost never drop calls anymore where I dropped iphone and VZW droid calls. It gets a better signal everywhere than it did on T-Mo. Voice coverage was fine on T-Mo but data was very spotty. I know there's no buzz about this phone but it's the best kept secret in my opinion. THE POINT IS, I will be very surprised if VZW iphone doesn't have the same problems the AT&T version has. Unless they tweak something that has not yet been reported. It seems the problem really is the iphone and not AT&T. I do still think it's a great phone though, especially jailbroken.AS FOR SIMULTANEOUS VOICE & DATA: I use it several times a day every day. I have a website and when a customer calls I will go to my site to see the price they see. Also, I will get a shipping quote from Fedex while on a call. I do a ton on hold. I also use google maps constantly when on a call. It does suck though that there is a 2GB limit. That is a problem. CUSTOMER SERVICE: This is where I think AT&T gets unjustly screwed. In my experience they are all good. Ironically, if I had to put one behind it would be T-Mo. They aren't terrible but were the least good. I think most complaints on AT&T are iphone users that want less dropped calls and AT&T really can't help them. I think iphone 5 will be the best phone since the Atrix but for now I really believe it's the Defy. All these things should be water, scratch, dust and impact resistant.

posted on 28 Jan 2011, 07:21

51. tmoney83 (Posts: 37; Member since: 08 May 2009)

i try and tell people all the time its the Iphone. i been on att for years i have a blackberry bold my friend has an iphone and when we together and both on the phone his calls drop and mines dont and he blames AT&T.

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