A number of industry analysts have mentioned that AT&T could potentially gain postpaid customers in the first quarter of 2018. This comes in contrast to earlier analysis which expects the carrier to lose subscribers in the first three months of 2018. The analysts noted that the growth in the number of postpaid customers can be attributed to the more aggressive promotions of the carrier. For example, researchers from Wells Fargo and wave7 noted that since the January, AT&T no longer requires customers to bundle TV services in order for the subscribers to take advantage of the buy-one, get-one promotions. Furthermore, the carrier is still offering the promotional deal on most high-end smartphones. The increase in the number of postpaid customers can also be attributed to the network operator's increased focus on regionally targeted promotions.
Deutsche Bank has estimated that the network operator will gain 34,000 customers in the first quarter of 2018. In contrast, the firm initially estimated that AT&T will lose up to 75,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the first three months of 2018. On the other hand, analysts from Wells Fargo noted that the more aggressive promotional strategy allowed AT&T to reduce the loss of postpaid phone customers in the first quarter of 2018 from 150,000 to 47,000. Wells Fargo further noted that the carrier's localized bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy did not result in a substantial increase in customers. In fact, the firm noted that the number of AT&T's BYOD subscribers went down by 4.7 percent in the final quarter of 2017 and 14 percent last year.
In a recent report, analysts also stated that the major US carriers will likely have increased service revenue growth in 2018. The increase in service revenue is attributed by the analysts to the improved average revenue per user (ARPU) of the network operators, which, in turn, will likely be caused by reduced churn rates and increased pricing of the carriers' unlimited data plans. For example, AT&T has recently changed the pricing of its unlimited plans while T-Mobile has recently unveiled the Unlimited 55+ Plan, which caters primarily to customers who are 55 years old or older. Moreover, the carriers are expected to have significantly reduced postpaid churn rates, which means that fewer subscribers are going to switch between carriers in 2018.