24 AT&T Facts to Help You Connect the Dots

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

Now, you may ask yourselves, “What dots?”.

Take that literally as the dots of the world, connected at all times, everywhere. AT&T has been doing that for more than 140 years. Can you imagine the impact of the first telephone back in 1876? Alexander Bell invented a technology that has led to AT&T today.

Surely, you know a little something about the big telecom giant. However, if you want to learn more interesting AT&T facts, today is your lucky day.

In this piece, we'll dive deep into the vast telecommunication ocean from the very beginning.

Grab your goggles, and let's go. We have a world to conquer!

Remarkable Facts About AT&T (Editor’s Choice):

  • The original American Telephone and Telegraph Company was founded in 1885.
  • However, the AT&T we know today originated in 1983.
  • In the 1920s, AT&T created the Sound Motion Pictures technology.
  • As of 2021, the company has 202,600 employees.
  • AT&T’s current corporate headquarters are in Dallas, Texas.
  • Since 1990, the company has donated $47.7 million to American NPOs and political campaigns.
  • The telecom invests in new technologies such as drones and connected cars.
  • As the top mobile service provider in the US, AT&T leads with 44.8% of wireless subscriptions for Q1 2021.

Some Key Moments of AT&T History

We already know AT&T has a long history that started with the invention of the telephone at the end of the 19th century. A lot has happened since then as technology is constantly moving forward. Additionally, the company has always tuned to the latest communication trends. Let’s see what exactly took place since AT&T’s genesis:

1. It all started in 1876 with Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone.

(Source: The Street)

In 1877, Bell and his partners incorporated a company called Bell Telephone Co. The name had changed many times until it became the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. in 1885. As you’ve probably already guessed, that’s AT&T’s full name.

2. In 1926, AT&T invented the technology for adding sound to motion pictures.

(Source: AT&T)

An achievement that has undoubtedly profoundly affected our lives today! Warner Brothers first used the technology for the Hollywood movie Don Juan. What it did was simply a synchronization between the actor’s lips and the sound coming out of them. This can bravely go into the basket of AT&T fun facts we're gathering here.

3. 911 became the national emergency telephone number in 1968.

(Source: Nena)

A year earlier, AT&T met with the Federal Communications Commission to discuss a quick solution for implementing a universal emergency phone number in the US. They chose 911 because it's short, fast to dial, and easy to memorize.

4. By the 1970s, AT&T had become the largest company globally, with nearly one million employees.

(Source: Britannica)

One more plus point for the AT&T statistics.

As the company grew, its total assets became more than those of the Mobil Corporation, Exxon Corporation, and General Motors combined. However, this came with some setbacks because AT&T quickly became a monopolist in the telecommunications business… but we'll get back to that later.

5. In 1975, AT&T adopted a policy against employees' discrimination based on sexual orientation.

(Source: AT&T)

This measure was part of AT&T's diversity program, where all employees get an equal chance to grow and learn. It was one of the first few American companies to establish such rules.

6. AT&T was sued twice by the US Government between 1949 and 1982.

(Source: Britannica)

One of the more unpleasant AT&T facts, but it’s still worth sharing. In 1949, the US Government filed an antitrust suit again the telephone company. Seven years later, the two parties reached consent.

However, in 1974, AT&T was sued a second time by the US Justice Department for allegations of forming a monopoly. It was resolved in 1982, again, by reaching an agreement. As a result, AT&T had to divest itself of 22 regional operating companies. They were reorganized and turned into seven regional phone companies.

7. In 2005, SBC Communications Inc. and AT&T agreed to merge.

(Source: AT&T)

This epic merger is another focal point in AT&T’s history timeline. Since then, a new era in global communications and entertainment has begun.

The new company took the name of AT&T and started acquiring other related businesses throughout the years. Today with a portfolio of phone, wireless, and television services, AT&T has earned its place among the top dogs in the industry.

8. In 2018, AT&T embarked on a merger with Time Warner.

(Source: Zippia)

Time Warner became an AT&T subsidiary and changed its name to WarnerMedia. Thanks to this smart move, AT&T acquired HBO, Warner Bros. Pictures film and television studios, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, other US channels, and 50% of The CW.

Colorful Stats About AT&T Users

Customers are our all. It’s simple—there is no company without having someone to buy your services or products. Read on to find out some of the best AT&T achievements in terms of subscribers.

9. AT&T increased its mobile subscribers and connections by almost 58 million in four years.

(Source: Statista)

Between Q1 2017 and Q2 2021, the total number of mobile subscribers and connections reached 191.65 million.

10. In 2021, AT&T added 3.2 million postpaid phone net subscribers.

(Source: AT&T)

It was a massive success for the telecom giant because it gained more postpaid phone net subscribers for 2021 than in the past decade.

So how many customers does AT&T Wireless have?

For less than 15 years, its wireless subscribers have grown significantly. In 2007 they were only 70.05 million. However, in 2020, AT&T's wireless users reached 182.56 million. This significant number won AT&T the gold medal and made it the largest shareholder in the wireless subscription market.

11. At the end of 2021, AT&T's global HBO and HBO Max subscribers were almost 74 million.

(Source: AT&T)

Both domestic and international subscribers increased at that—compared to 2020, the increase was by 13.1 million globally! US HBO and HBO Max users grew by 5.3 million from the previous year.

12. AT&T ended 2021 with almost six million fiber subscribers in total.

(Source: Light Reading)

AT&T’s number of customers is growing fast in any direction you look. Just in 2021, their fiber users increased by more than one million.

13. AT&T's subscribers can now use 5G roaming in 35+ countries.

(Source: AT&T)

Some countries where this option is available are Japan, Italy, Bulgaria, China, Canada, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Finland, Sweden, etc. Just in time for the spring and summer vacation period.

How Big Is AT&T in Terms of Employees

Employees, too, are a crucial element in the success of any company. Being an international corporation, AT&T is invested in finding the best talents in the industry. It also focuses on employee diversity, growth opportunities, and workforce inclusion.

14. The official total number of AT&T employees worldwide is 202,600.

(Source: AT&T)

This includes people from all 50 US states and more than 60 countries worldwide. However, keep in mind that this stat is from 2021. So how many employees does AT&T have in 2022

AT&T’s employee count is much higher now… or not. There was no way to know the exact impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company. However, as soon as we get our hands on such stats, we’ll be sure to let you know.

15. In 2021, AT&T invested $158M in direct employee training and professional development.

(Source: AT&T)

In 2021 alone, more than 200,000 employees were trained at AT&T University, the company's internal training organization. Other interesting AT&T statistics show that employees spent 15 million hours in training that year.

16. In 2021, one million employees, retirees, and eligible dependents were offered health and welfare benefits.

(Source: AT&T)

AT&T intends to employ and retain the best professionals with such benefits. The company offers comprehensive life insurance, disability, retirement, and health plans. Some of them even include egg freezing, gender reassignment, and eldercare.

17. As of January 1, 2022, AT&T cut death and life insurance benefits for 220,000 retirees.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Well, it's not always rosy in the garden. We’ve had some impressive AT&T stats so far, but this one is quite disappointing to all the retirees who've rightfully expected more.

The telecom didn't meet promises made years ago. And it announced that post factum. Those are the facts.

18. AT&T ranked 8th in the Forbes 2021 Just 100.

(Source: Forbes)

The list evaluates the largest and most significant US public companies based on how they treat their employees, customers, shareholders, communities, and the environment. We may call it somewhat a record for the Dallas-based telecom because it ranked in the top 10 for the first time.

Engaging Facts About AT&T Market Share

This is the part where we crunch some numbers. Buckle your seatbelt! We have some serious work to do.

19. AT&T holds the largest wireless subscriptions market share of 44.8% for Q1 2021 in the US.

(Source: Statista)

Verizon's runner-up holds 29.1%, while T-Mobile is third with 24.9%. AT&T has been taking first place for this metric since 2018. Even after T-Mobile acquired Sprint in 2020, AT&T remained the front-runner.

20. AT&T is the third telecom in the world by brand value.

(Source: Statista)

This new data comes from a survey released in February 2022. AT&T won the bronze medal this time with a brand value of $47 billion. Gold goes to Verizon with $69.6 billion, while Deutsche Telekom gets silver with $60.2 billion.

So can you tell what AT&T is most known for? Probably for being the world's largest telecom corporation by revenue. In 2020, its operating revenue equaled $171.76 billion.

21. AT&T ended 2021 with $168.86 billion in revenue.

(Source: Morning Star)

Compared to the previous year, the company's revenue went down by $2.9 billion. But if we were to compare this to the before-Covid 2019 period, the decrease would be $12.33 billion. Shocking! You decide how AT&T's financial situation was affected over the past three years.

22. AT&T's CEO took $9.93 million for 2021.

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

John Stankey became AT&T's CEO in July 2020, but he has been part of the company’s team since way back in 1985. Over the years, he's been taking on many roles, such as CEO of Business Solutions, Chief Strategy Officer, and CEO of WarnerMedia. He's also part of AT&T's board of directors.

23. WarnerMedia and Discovery megamerger is on its way in 2022.

(Source: NY Times)

Here's the deal: WarnerMedia is AT&T's entertainment division. By merging with Discovery, it will become part of a separate company with a new name—Warner Bros. Discovery.

Also, that’s probably the perfect way to keep AT&T's debt under control.

24. As of 2021, AT&T has a massive debt of $178.86 billion.

(Source: Nasdaq)

Speaking of…

The acquisition of Direct TV for $67 billion in 2015 and Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018 caused AT&T a massive debt load. As the company sold off both acquired companies now, it will get the much-needed debt relief. However, these moves get the telecom giant out of the entertainment business.

Wrap Up

What a journey! We hope our collection of AT&T facts was exciting and educational for you. There were some highs and lows, typical for such a big international company. As you can see, the leading US telecom is keeping it together and moving forward through thick and thin. Only the future will show what awaits us for years to come.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.