AT&T (NYSE: T) is extending its U-verse IPTV and DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) satellite video services to the small to medium business (SMB) segment in a move to create an even stickier quad-play bundle to compete against cable's growing presence in a market traditionally ignored by large incumbent service providers.
An ideal solution for SMBs like doctor's offices with waiting rooms, AT&T will extend the U-verse IPTV service to SMBs in the existing 131 markets across its 22-state local service footprint and use its DirecTV relationship to target opportunities in regions where U-verse is not available yet. The ILEC will also offer the restaurant industry with business packages that include NFL Sunday Ticket.
SMBs have various pricing options to choose from. Eligible U-verse business customers can choose from the $20 a month Basic 20-channel lineup, $32.50 for the Standard 100-channel lineup, and $40 for a Deluxe 200-channel lineup, in addition to optional High Definition services.
Of course, eligible SMBs can also bundle in business U-verse High Speed Internet where available, with download speeds of up to 24 Mbps.
Similarly, SMBs can chose from a number of AT&T's nationwide DirecTV satellite service packages that range from $34.99 to $59.99.
Bringing video to SMBs has long been a solid business for cable operators and AT&T like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) with its FiOS Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) services for SMBs that includes specialized video packages, had to respond with its own offering.
Cable competitors such as Cox Business, for example, actually see video as one of those services that actually prevent its customers from switching their service to another service provider like AT&T.
"In the SMB space, we find that video is not only desired, but it's the largest stabilizer to churn," said Kristine Faulkner, VP of product development for Cox Business in previous interview with FierceTelecom. "We see our customers that have video service have a lower propensity to leave us versus other customers that don't have video."
- see the release
- and FierceIPTV's take
AT&T uses telepresence to enhance the SMB's retail service experience
Digital pay TV subscribers drop again in Q3; Verizon, AT&T only bright spots
Sizing up the wireline industry in the third quarter 2010
New AT&T U-verse app provides DVR on the go for BlackBerry Torch users
AT&T's Lindner: IP services drive consumer, business wireline growth