AT&T SWOT [Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats]

I decided  to break away from the boring and tangling AT&T site to get a different preceptive on the strengths and weaknesses of the company over time. After doing some research I stumbled  upon a popular model used to identify exactly what we’re looking for. According to  WikiSWot, One of the best ways to develop a picture of any company is with a SWOT analysis — a look at a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. With the data from WikiSW OT.com and other literature, I’m going to track over time,  AT&T’s SWOT.


Strengths

  • Largest provider of broadband in U.S.
  • World’s largest communications holding company by revenue.
  • Broad portfolio of complementary products and services (wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, telecommunications equipment, managed networking, wholesale services, and directory advertising and publishing).
  • Extremely capable network capacity, both physical (fiber optics) and wireless (including a growing 3G network).
  • AT&T Wireless exclusivity with Apple‘s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone.

Weaknesses

  • Increasingly more price-competitive market in both retail and wholesale markets.
  • Company obligations and liabilities from old business unit spin-offs.
  • Balance sheet — company more leveraged than competitors within the industry.

Opportunities

  • Further industry consolidation (acquisitions).
  • Wireless growth, particularly through its partnership with Apple/iPhone.
  • Emerging markets/global expansion.
  • Further industry growth with 4G technology.

Threats

  • Increasingly ferocious competition in the wireless arena.
  • Emerging technologies — falling behind smaller, more nimble companies and operators.
  • Price competition within industry pressuring margins.
  • Weather damage to antennas and transmission lines.
  • Reliance on iPhone gives Apple an upper hand in brand visibility.

The SWOT table illustrated was clearly made in around 2004-2006 as they cover the Cingular acquisition. This is also pre -iPhone so it will serve as a pretty good time measure. Back at the start of the new millennium AT&T’s strengths were significant in enterprise experience and nationwide EDGE coverage. With that,they carried the best spectrum among U.S carriers. Over time, their strengths have shifted as technology evolves along with network and capacity.  Today, AT&T has moved upgraded from EDGE and now has nationwide 3G network coverage, with an announcement that it will continue to evolve and adapt to 4G bands. AT&T’s exclusive contract with Apple’s iPhone helps the telcom to establish itself as a premiere wireless carrier across the nation. Looking at the weaknesses, the pre-iphone AT&T experienced low subscriber growth and developed a poor reputation for coverage and services. Today, nothing has changed much and if any, it’s safe to say more growth leads to more issues.  Along with strengths and weaknesses comes the chance to come across great opportunities for advancement. One of their recent acquisition’s which brought great opportunity to the table was the merge with Cingular. With the Merge, AT&T picked up a wider peice of the spectrum and of course their market share thickened. Today, its pretty much the same thing with further industry consolidation and acquisitions have paved the way for AT&T to become an emerging market with global expansion. Recently, AT&T’s latest acquisition gives us insight on how the entity is capitalizing on opportunity.   In March  a Press Release shocked the globe with the announcement that T-Mobile USA is going to be aquired by AT&T. As of now, the German provider Deutsche Telekom has exclusive rights over T-Mobile USA. According to the Press Release, the deal includes in a cash-and-stock transactions currently valued at approximately $39 billion.  As of now before the T-Mobile merge was announced the latest wireless growth attribution is accredited particularly through its partnership with Apple/iPhone, an opportunity in which AT&T lead the race from 2007-2011 because this year Verizon wireless also picked up a partnership with Apple’s iPhone making them the first CDMA carrier to sell the iPhone. Moving onto the threats, early AT&T was head to head with Verizon wireless for the initiation of nationwide 3G.  Also, its acquisition with Cingular was doomed for familiar as the table points out that integrating the workforces would be a challenge. With tough competition in the wireless arena and emerging technologies, AT&T may fall behind smaller companies and operators. Personally, my subscriber is T-Mobile USA. T-Mobile customers basically exist because of its great customer service, not to  mention the pricing plans are much more affordable and  flexible. Now with the new acquisition of AT&T&T or AT&T-Mo, however it decides to be named, this will eliminate a lingering threat.

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