AT&T is an American telecommunications conglomerate that provides a wide range of communication services to businesses and consumers. It is the largest provider of mobile phone services and the second largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States. The company was founded in 1885 by Alexander Graham Bell and has grown to become one of the largest communication companies in the world, with operations in over 100 countries and annual revenues of more than $170 billion.
AT&T offers a broad portfolio of services including wireless communication, high-speed internet, satellite television, and digital voice services. Its wireless services cover voice, data and messaging and it has one of the most extensive wireless networks in the US. The company also offers enterprise solutions such as virtual private networking, cloud-based services, and cybersecurity. Additionally, AT&T has a strong presence in the media and entertainment industry through its subsidiary, WarnerMedia, which includes HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros. Pictures. Xandr, AT&T's advertising technology company, provides targeted advertising solutions to businesses.
AT&T is committed to innovation and investing in emerging technologies such as 5G, edge computing, and artificial intelligence to improve its products and services. Its vision is to connect people with their world and enable the possibilities of digital life.
AT&T Inc. has a storied history that spans over a century, making it a prominent player in the telecommunications industry. From its origins as the Bell Telephone Company in 1875, founded by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Watson, and Gardiner Greene Hubbard, to its current status as a multinational telecommunications holding company, AT&T has undergone remarkable transformations and played a pivotal role in shaping the telecommunications landscape in the United States.
The early years of AT&T were marked by the establishment of the American Bell Telephone Company in 1885, a subsidiary of Bell Telephone. Later renamed the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, AT&T swiftly built a comprehensive network of local telephone subsidiaries across the nation. By the turn of the 20th century, AT&T had solidified its position as a monopoly in the telephone service industry, earning the moniker "Ma Bell." Operating under the umbrella of the Bell System, AT&T enjoyed a regulated monopoly, sanctioned by the government.
However, concerns about anti-competitive practices prompted regulators to initiate the breakup of the Bell System in 1982. As part of this mandate, AT&T was compelled to divest its local subsidiaries, resulting in the emergence of seven Regional Bell Operating Companies, commonly known as the Baby Bells. This significant event marked a transformative period for AT&T and the industry as a whole.
In the aftermath of the breakup, AT&T redefined its focus as a long-distance service provider but faced increasing competition from other telecommunications companies. Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC), one of the Baby Bells, rose to prominence during this time. SBC embarked on a series of strategic acquisitions throughout the 1990s, culminating in the acquisition of AT&T in 2005.
The acquisition of AT&T by SBC marked a momentous reformation for the company. SBC adopted the AT&T name and brand, and the merged entity became AT&T Inc. once again. This move not only facilitated AT&T's reentry into the local telephone service market but also solidified its position as a leading telecommunications company.
Buoyed by this new momentum, AT&T embarked on a trajectory of growth through strategic acquisitions. In 2006, AT&T successfully acquired BellSouth Corporation, the last remaining independent Baby Bell, consolidating its position as a telecommunications giant. Additionally, AT&T gained full ownership of Cingular Wireless, which it subsequently rebranded as AT&T Mobility, further expanding its reach in the wireless telecommunications sector.
AT&T's pursuit of expansion extended beyond the realm of telecommunications. In 2016, the company made a bold move by acquiring Time Warner, a media and entertainment conglomerate, to form WarnerMedia. This strategic manoeuvre aimed to position AT&T as a major player in the evolving landscape of media and entertainment.
However, recent years have seen AT&T undergo further transformations. In 2018, the acquisition of Time Warner faced legal challenges from the U.S. Department of Justice. Nonetheless, the merger was eventually approved, enabling WarnerMedia to become a subsidiary of AT&T, overseeing an array of prestigious media assets, including Warner Bros., HBO, and CNN.
Yet, in 2022, AT&T made a strategic decision to divest its media assets. WarnerMedia merged with Discovery, Inc., creating Warner Bros. Discovery. This shift allowed AT&T to refocus its efforts on its core telecommunications business, emphasizing its commitment to meeting the evolving needs of consumers and businesses in the digital age.
Alongside its corporate developments, AT&T has made significant advancements in technology and services. Notably, the launch of HBO Max, a streaming service, in 2020 exemplifies AT&T's foray into the digital realm. Furthermore, AT&T has proactively expanded its 5G network deployment, positioning itself at the forefront of cutting-edge telecommunications technologies.
As of 2023, AT&T stands as one of the largest telecommunications companies worldwide, providing an extensive range of services, including satellite television, fixed-line telephones, mobile telephones, and internet services. With a legacy rooted in innovation and a commitment to adaptability, AT&T continues to play an integral role in shaping the telecommunications industry while striving to meet the evolving demands of consumers and businesses alike in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
“We help more than 100 million U.S. families, friends and neighbours, plus nearly 2.5 million businesses, connect to greater possibility. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to our 5G wireless and multi-gig internet offerings today, we innovate to improve lives.”
AT&T's mission and vision statements reflect the company's commitment to leveraging technology to connect people and drive progress. By embracing innovation and pushing boundaries, AT&T aims to be a leader in the telecommunications industry, delivering exceptional services that meet the evolving needs of its customers.
"We aspire to be the most admired and valuable company in the world. Our goal is to enrich our customers' personal lives and to make their businesses more successful by bringing to market exciting and useful communications services, building shareowner value in the process."
Their vision focuses on creating a positive impact not only in the lives of individuals but also in the success of businesses, ultimately striving for recognition as a highly admired and valuable company worldwide.
Mr. John T. Stankey (CEO, Pres & Director )
Mr. Pascal Desroches (Sr. EVP & CFO )
Mr. Jeffery Scott McElfresh (Chief Operating Officer )
Mr. David R. McAtee II (Sr. EVP & Gen. Counsel )
Ms. Debra L. Dial (Sr. VP, Chief Accounting Officer & Controller )
Mr. Amir Rozwadowski (Sr. VP of Fin. & Investor Relations )
Mr. David S. Huntley (Sr. EVP & Chief Compliance Officer )
Mr. Larry Solomon (Chief Communications Officer )
Mr. Rick Moore (Sr. VP of Corp. Devel. )
Ms. Lori M. Lee (Global Marketing Officer & Sr. EVP of International )
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
AT&T offers a wide range of products and services designed to meet the diverse communication needs of individuals, families, and businesses. With their extensive network infrastructure and expertise in telecommunications, AT&T delivers innovative solutions to connect people, enhance productivity, and enable seamless communication. Here are some of the key products and services offered by AT&T:
- Mobile Services: AT&T provides mobile phone services, offering a variety of plans and devices to meet different needs. They offer the latest smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, along with flexible data plans and features such as unlimited talk and text, mobile hotspots, and international roaming.
- Internet Services: AT&T offers high-speed internet services to both residential and business customers. They provide a range of options, including fibre-optic internet (AT&T Fiber) that delivers ultra-fast speeds, DSL internet, and fixed wireless internet in select areas. AT&T also offers Wi-Fi services, enabling connectivity at home, on the go, and in public spaces.
- TV and Entertainment: AT&T delivers a comprehensive suite of entertainment services, including DIRECTV and AT&T TV. These services provide access to a wide selection of channels, on-demand content, and premium programming. AT&T also offers streaming services like HBO Max, providing a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content.
- Home Phone and Digital Voice: AT&T offers traditional home phone services, allowing customers to make reliable voice calls over their landline. Additionally, they provide digital voice services that enable voice communication over the Internet (VoIP), offering features such as voicemail, caller ID, and call forwarding.
- Business Solutions: AT&T caters to the unique communication needs of businesses of all sizes. They provide comprehensive solutions, including voice services, data connectivity, cloud services, cybersecurity solutions, unified communications, and collaboration tools. AT&T's business offerings aim to enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and support seamless communication within organizations.
- IoT and Connected Devices: AT&T offers solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling connectivity and management of various devices and applications. They provide IoT connectivity services, platforms, and tools to support businesses in deploying and managing IoT solutions across industries such as healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and more.
- Digital Security: AT&T offers digital security solutions to protect individuals and businesses from online threats. These solutions include antivirus software, firewall protection, secure browsing, identity theft protection, and other cybersecurity services to safeguard sensitive data and ensure online privacy.
AT&T's diverse range of products and services demonstrates its commitment to providing comprehensive communication solutions to its customers. With their focus on innovation and leveraging advanced technologies, AT&T aims to empower individuals, businesses, and communities to stay connected, productive, and secure in an increasingly interconnected world.
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Alexander Graham Bell (Founders)
Gardiner Greene Hubbard (Founder)
Thomas Sanders (Founder)
Mr. John T. Stankey (CEO, Pres & Director )
Media and Communications