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AT&T U-verse: a Basic Double-Play Bundle

According to a Current Analysis assessment, while AT&T�s new U-verse video and broadband packages are full of advanced features and premium content, the fact remains that the new IPTV service is right now only available to a small portion of residents in San Antonio, TX.

Cable and satellite TV providers are already delivering a similar level of video service to the masses with more robust and established agreements with popular content providers. Initially, high-definition TV (HDTV) programming is missing from the U-verse service.

Current Analysis believes that it is disappointing that AT&T�s first commercial rollout of its fiber-enabled services is only a 'double play bundle' of broadband and video, excluding its wireline and wireless services.

To maximize the power of its fiber technology, AT&T needs to start to include a VoIP offering and an integrated wireless service that recognizes a home VoIP network from the outside wireless network for voice calls. AT&T has achieved the milestone of launching an IP network in the home with aggressively priced video and broadband packages.

However, the company has a long way to go to compete on the same level of the cable providers� penetration of the video market and to overcome parity with cable video services and use IPTV to offer the next generation of entertainment and communications services in the home.

"Currently, AT&T U-verse is just out of the trial phase in San Antonio, TX with its first commercial launch to a few thousand households. The company still has a long way to go to begin to get a return on its over $4.6 billion investment in rolling out a fiber network throughout its territory" says Bruce McGregor, Analyst, Digital Home.

McGregor concludes, "AT&T promises to deliver the next generation of video features through its IPTV service, but for right now, the company is about on par with what the major cable and satellite TV providers already offer to millions of households. As a video service in its infancy, AT&T U-verse lacks HDTV programming and it is limited in the programming it offers, not having long-standing relationships with content providers. To achieve a higher level of video penetration, the company will need to offer a 'video experience' the cable and satellite TV providers do not already deliver. Ultimately, the consumer will decide if the service is up to snuff. If it is not, U-verse will be an over-hyped flop."

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