AT&T is an American multinational conglomerate holding company. The company primarily specializes in telecommunications technologies. AT&T is the largest provider of mobile telephone services in the US. The company is also one of the largest worldwide in terms of revenues generated. The company began its operations in 1983 and has since expanded its operations substantially.
AT&T initially started as the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. Later, it got renamed to SBC Communications and eventually rebranded to AT&T in 2005. The company’s predecessors had a monopoly on phone services in the US for most of the 20th century. This monopoly has allowed the company to be the top name in the current market.
AT&T generated revenues of $171.76 billion in 2020. However, this was a drop from the $181.2 billion it made in 2019. The company gets its revenues from several sources, including communications, Warner Media, acquisitions, video, etc. Among these, telecommunications services contribute a significant portion of the total amount. AT&T also held assets of $525.76 billion in 2020 with total equity of $179.24 billion.
AT&T’s stature and standing in the US market are undeniably massive. For others to compete with AT&T, they require significant capital-backing. Despite that, AT&T has several competitors in the market. These competitors also serve as an alternative to the products that the company offers. A list of the top ten AT&T competitors and alternatives is as below.
When it comes to telecommunications services in the US market, Verizon is undoubtedly AT&T’s largest competitor. The company began its operations in 1983 as Bell Atlantic Corporation. Later, however, it got renamed and rebranded to Verizon. Ever since then, Verizon has been AT&T’s primary competitor in the industry. While it does not come close to AT&T’s market share, it isn’t far from it either.
Verizon generated revenues of $128.29 billion in 2020. Like AT&T, Verizon has several revenue sources. However, the primary includes its wireless telecommunications services. Both AT&T and Verizon have had a well-known rivalry in the US market. Despite its various innovative technologies, however, Verizon has always been below AT&T.
2. T-Mobile US
T-Mobile US is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank Group. The company operates under its global brand name T-Mobile and is an American wireless network operator. Currently, the company operates from Bellevue, Washington. T-Mobile is known as the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, with over 104 million subscribers as of 2021.
T-Mobile competes with both Verizon and AT&T in the same primary market. The company reported revenues of $68.4 billion in the US for 2020. Although it does not have the same diverse range of revenue sources, it fares well against the competition. The company also has the backing of its parent company Deutsche Telekom, giving it access to many resources. It also merged with Sprint, another well-known US carrier, boosting its operations.
3. Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is AT&T’s primary competitor outside the US market. The company also owns T-Mobile US, which is a US-based competitor to AT&T’s operations. Deutsche Telekom began its operations in 1995 in Germany. It is the primary owner and developer of the T-Mobile brand. Apart from T-Mobile US, the company also operates several other subsidiaries worldwide.
Deutsche Telekom reported revenues of €101 billion (roughly translates to $115 million) in 2020. The company primarily offers telecommunications services. However, its other products include mobile phones, broadband, digital television, digital media, IT services, and fixed-line. Although Deutsche Telekom primarily operates in the German market, it is also active in others through its subsidiaries.
Vodafone is another well-known carrier based in the UK. The company currently operates from Berkshire, England, in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Similarly, its network spans over 22 countries with partner networks in 48 further countries. In terms of size, Vodafone is among the world’s largest telecommunications companies. It competes with every other big name in the industry.
Vodafone reported revenues of €44.974 billion (roughly translates to $51.36 billion) in 2020. Its products include fixed telephony, mobile telephony, broadband, digital television, internal television, IPTV and IoT. The company began its operations in 1991 through a joint venture between Racal Strategic Radio and Millicom.
5. China Mobile
When it comes to the Chinese market, China Mobile is the leading name. The company, established in 1997, is one of the biggest competitors and alternatives to AT&T in China. Apart from China, it also operates in Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, and Thailand. China Mobile primarily operates under the Government of China.
Chinese Mobile reported revenues of CNY 746 billion (roughly translates to $108 billion) in 2019. Similarly, the company serves over 187 million wireline broadband customers and 950 million mobile service users. Its products include mobile voice, wireline broadband, and mobile data services. Despite primarily benefiting from telecommunications revenues, the company competes with AT&T in several areas.
Telefonica is a mobile operator in Spain established as Compañía Telefónica Nacional de España (CTNE). It is the leading name in the Spanish market. Furthermore, it is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers globally. The company specializes in fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and subscription television services.
Established in 1924, Telefonica holds a significant market share across various countries. These include nations in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Primarily, the company operates in the Americas market and Spain. Telefonica reported revenues of $48.6 billion in 2020. It also owns various other brands, including Vivo, Movistar, and O2.
7. América Móvil
América Móvil is a Mexican telecommunications corporation currently operating from Mexico City. The company has over 277 million wireless and 84.3 million fixed revenue generating units subscribers. In terms of equity subscribers, it is the 7th largest mobile network in the world. On top of that, it also is among the largest corporations worldwide.
América Móvil reported revenues of $52.747 billion in 2018. The company has several subsidiaries that operate in similar markets. América Móvil’s products include fixed-line, mobile phone, broadband, digital TV, IPTV, digital media, and IoT. Although not active in the US, América Móvil still threatens AT&T’s business in other markets.
8. Cricket Wireless
Cricket Wireless is fairly new to the game, established in 1999 in Chicago, Illinois, Us. The company provides wireless services to over 10 million subscribers in the US. It is a well-known competitor in the wireless market in the US, where it also competes with AT&T and other brands. However, it primarily competes with services provided by Verizon and AT&T.
Despite being a competitor to AT&T’s services, Cricket Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T. The company generated estimated revenues of over $400 million. Unlike AT&T and other names on the list, Cricket Wireless does not specialize in several products and services. However, it still poses a significant threat to the market share.
Orange SA, or Orange, is a French multinational telecommunications corporation. The company is the 11th largest mobile network operator in the world. However, it is still behind Vodafone and Telefonica in the European market. Despite that, it has over 266 million customers worldwide. Its primary markets include France and several European countries.
Orange generated revenues of €42.238 billion (roughly translates to $48.24 billion) in 2019. The company also owns several subsidiaries, which provide similar or diverse services. Currently, the company offers fixed-line telephone, mobile telephone, broadband, IPTV, internet, and banking services. It is one of the primary alternatives for European users.
10. Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio is a fairly new name in the telecommunications industry, established in 2007. Reliance was a part of the Indian telecommunications industry for a long time. However, it started gaining in popularity after branding its services as Jio and offering affordable services. Currently, it is India’s largest mobile operator and the second-largest in the world in subscriber count.
Reliance Jio reported revenues of ₹90,287 crores (or $13 billion) in 2020. Its products include fixed-line telephones, mobile phones, wireless broadbands, internet services, and OTT services. Reliance Jio also has significant backing from its chairman and founder, Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest person.
AT&T is the largest mobile operator in the US and among the leading names worldwide. The company primarily operates in the US market. However, some of its operations also span outside of it. AT&T has several competitors in these markets. Some of the names on the list include Verizon, T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica, and China Mobile, among others.