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AT&T, after recently completing its $48.5 billion takeover of DirecTV, will roll out the first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services – all from a single provider on one bill, with special discounts – beginning Aug. 10.
AT&T, which had partnered with DirecTV before taking over the company, claims the package can save consumers up to $600 in its first year.
Its $200/month package includes:
- HD and DVR service for up to four TVs.
- Unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines.
- 10GB of shareable wireless data.
“Today is the first of many planned moves to enable our customers to enjoy a premium entertainment experience almost anywhere,” Brad Bentley, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services, said in a prepared statement.
New DirectTV subscribers will have immediate access to programming. So if you walk into an AT&T store to buy the service, you can start watching TV on your smartphone or other mobile device as you walk out, before TV service is installed at your home.
“AT&T is wasting no time extending the benefits of its DirecTV acquisition to consumers,” said Roger Entner, founder, Recon Analytics LLC.
Even customers who combine lesser TV services with eligible AT&T wireless services on a single monthly AT&T bill are eligible for a $10 combined bill discount. That’s $120 a year.
Where available, AT&T also provides Internet service starting at $30 a month.
AT&T is the only company that can provide both mobile and TV services. Rivals are limited to partnerships, Entner told ABC News, which don’t work as well for companies and consumers, who see TV as part of their overall media and telecommunications experience.
“It’s a beginning, but an important beginning,” Entner said of the new package.
Though the price still compares to cable companies’ phone-TV-Internet packages, the AT&T deal may appeal to those who don’t want traditional landline phones and either don’t have cable TV or are looking to cut the cord, analysts said.
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