AT&T offered a preview earlier this week of their vision for convergence. They demoed technology that’s not publicly available yet, including linking the iPhone to U-verse services. For example, the iPhone can turn into a remote control for U-verse video services. Other applications will include the ability to download programming from a U-Verse DVR to an iPhone for mobile playback. AT&T CTO John Donovan tells Dow Jones, “You’re going to see dramatic changes in the how we look and feel to our customers.”
AT&T has taken its lumps lately, with slowing broadband growth and questioning of its FTTN strategy with U-Verse. Its trump card is wireless, and the iPhone is leading the way. AT&T knows it’s going to have to start integrating wireless into its wireline, broadband, and video strategies to take some of the shine off of its cable competitors. Wireless is their answer. The sooner they can integrate wireless and iPhone applications into their broadband and U-verse experience, the better off they’ll be. They need some of that “cool” factor in place for their entire product portfolio to hedge against any possible success from cable’s forthcoming attempt to integrate WiMAX into their triple play portfolio.