AT&T, forced to find new revenue as the fixed-line telephone industry it once dominated loses customers to mobile handsets, plans to...
AT&T, forced to find new revenue as the fixed-line telephone industry it once dominated loses customers to mobile handsets, plans to offer installation and repair services for computers and entertainment systems.
Starting at less than $100, the service will be sold nationwide and include installing home-computer networks and flat-panel TVs, the Dallas-based company said Thursday. Customers don’t need to be AT&T subscribers.
The strategy pits AT&T against Best Buy’s Geek Squad in competition for customers needing technical help, and will enable AT&T to expand beyond the 22 states where it sells phone, Internet and TV service.
AT&T lost 1.6 million residential customers last year as they switched to mobile handsets or cable-TV providers’ calling plans.
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“This looks like a pretty good emerging business,” said Matt Davis, a research director at Massachusetts-based IDC.
Systems are becoming more complex and “at a certain point, people stop being able to install them or use them or troubleshoot them.”
IDC is studying the size of the market for such services, Davis said.
AT&T called it a “billion-dollar marketplace” in its statement.