Earlier this year, AT&T brought back unlimited data. Given that they were the first carrier to get rid of unlimited data, it was a bit of a surprising move. But, in order to get unlimited data on AT&T, you would need to either be a DIRECTV customer or a U-Verse customer. On top of that, it would cost you $100/month for unlimited data with additional lines costing $40/month. Additionally, users were throttled once they hit 22GB of usage for the month. Since bringing the option back, around 5 million customers have signed up for the plan, according to AT&T during their quarterly earnings call on Thursday.
Bundles isn't something that has always done well for companies. However, it appears to be working pretty well for AT&T so far. The company's CFO John Stephens said in their earnings call this week that "getting 5 million of these customers to sign up for this bundled approach with regard to video and wireless is just the best proof I can offer you that we've already done" showing that the bundle approach does work, at least for AT&T's services. AT&T is planning to launch a few different streaming video services, under the DIRECT name. DIRECT Now is said to be an app from AT&T's satellite TV business. While DIRECTV Mobile would be designed for smartphones and feature some premium video in addition to made-for-digital content. Finally, DIRECTV Preview would be a free service, using ads to pay the bills, and would include video from many different sources.
The launch of these three DIRECTV-branded services is why AT&T was so interested in Yahoo. Even though it's looking like their main competitor – Verizon – is going to be picking them up, after already purchasing AOL. There's no word on when DIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Mobile and DIRECTV Preview will be launching however. However, it sounds like the company is preparing to offer these services and more bundles in the near future, with rumors pointing at them launching before the end of the year. After the success of unlimited data bundling with their current TV services, it's definitely great news for AT&T with their future plans for DIRECTV, which they spent $49 billion for in 2014.