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Wireless ARPU of AT&T 2016-2020

In the fourth quarter of 2020, AT&T’s ARPU stood at 49.5 U.S. dollars for its postpaid services. ARPU stands for Average Revenue Per Unit and it is the measure used to calculate how much revenue a company generates per unit (or user) during a specific period.

AT&T’s key wireless metrics

In AT&T’s quarterly report, ARPU is defined as wireless subscriber revenues during a specific period divided by average wireless subscribers during that period. Such data can be used by businesses and investors for analysis and comparisons with other companies, giving them a better grasp of what the future holds for a specific company in terms of growth.

In 2019, AT&T had almost 166 million wireless subscribers worldwide. In the third quarter of 2018, the company’s churn rate, which refers to the average percentage of subscribers who stop paying for a service, for these wireless subscribers was about 1.7 percent. This is a relatively low number compared to some of AT&T’s competitors. This is a good indicator of a healthy and loyal relationship between the customer and the company.

AT&T’s competitive environment

Many of the wireless carriers’ ARPU are relatively similar. In the second quarter of 2018, the four largest wireless service providers in the United States (AT&T, Verizon, Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile) had an average revenue between 40 and 50 U.S. dollars per user. Conversely, the total revenues of these four major wireless providers were not similar in 2019: AT&T had a total revenue of about 181 billion U.S. dollars, which is roughly 50 billion higher than the revenue of top competitor Verizon. In addition, AT&T took the first place as the top wireless carrier in the United States from Verizon in terms of subscriber count in the first quarter of 2018.

Wireless average revenue per user of AT&T from 3rd quarter 2016 to 4th quarter 2020 (in U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

January 2021



Survey time period

2016 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Amounts have been recast by AT&T to conform to current-period reporting methodology. Due to organizational changes and AT&T's June 14, 2018 acquisition of Time Warner Inc., effective for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, AT&T revised the operating segments to align with the company's new management structure and organizational responsibilities.

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