AT&T to combine television, wireless services in one bill

AT&T brings DirecTV home in bundle pkg

AT&T is moving to capitalize on its recent merger with DirecTV by offering bundled wireless and television services to consumers.

Weeks after receiving regulatory blessing of its $48.5 billion merger with the country's largest satellite television provider, the 2nd largest U.S. wireless carrier plans to offer combined TV and wireless service in a single bill, the company said in a release. The "all in one" plan will allow consumers to connect four televisions and smartphones, and will include 10GB of shareable data.

Companies such as Verizon are known to bundle Internet, cable and landlines, but AT&T is moving to become the first to combine cellular with other services—a fact that the wireless behemoth was not shy about pointing out in its announcement.

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The plan, which will launch Aug. 10 and will cost $200 per month for 12 months, may save consumers at least $600 per year, AT&T said. "We're going to deliver more TV and entertainment choices to more screens – when and where our customers want it," said Brad Bentley, EVP and chief marketing officer of AT&T Entertainment and Internet Services, in a statement. "And we'll offer incredible value with more flexibility and convenience through our integrated packages that deliver a great experience."

In a world increasingly dominated by streaming media on mobile devices, new DirecTV subscribers will be offered "immediate access to programming…at the point of sale," AT&T said, adding that the deal will "offer customers the freedom to watch hit TV shows anytime virtually anywhere, using a TV, computer, tablet or smartphone."

That could make the bundle more attractive to plugged-in consumers who use smartphones and tablets for a growing variety of entertainment.

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AT&T is also offering several price incentives for customers to either upgrade their existing service, or switch from another carrier.

The cellular-television bundle at least partly fulfills the original ambitions that led to the AT&T-DirecTV merger. The satellite provider received access to broadband, while the wireless giant can now tap new growth areas beyond the realm of cellular service.

In late July, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved AT&T's mega-deal with DirecTV.

The Justice Department already cleared the deal, which will create a company with about 26 million cable and satellite subscribers.