|Millions of Text Votes Sent Throughout the Series|
With an unprecedented volume of text votes sent during the American Idol finale, AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE) created the single largest text-messaging event by a single carrier worldwide and has re-written the script for how television sponsorships can be delivered in North America.
In total, more than 7.5 million American Idol-related text messages were sent by AT&T Wireless customers throughout the season, including polls, sweepstake entries, trivia, and votes. Since American Idol was consistently ranked as one of the highest rated shows on television, AT&T Wireless believes that its sponsorship provided an unprecedented means to educate the mass consumer market about the use of text messaging.
Other record-breaking statistics revealed by AT&T Wireless include:
-- Over one-third of all participants had never even sent a text message as an AT&T Wireless customer before American Idol
-- The number of text votes received increased by nearly 5,000 percent from the first voting episode to the last voting episode
-- Approximately 70 percent of text voters voted more than once
-- Over 2,300 text messages per second were processed at one point during the voting
"Our sponsorship of American Idol has inextricably linked text messaging with American pop-culture," said Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services. "We've changed people's behavior, engaging and motivating viewers to use their wireless phones for more than just placing phone calls."
"The country has embraced interactive text messaging with more fervor than anyone anticipated. Television viewers now expect to be part of the action -- and there's no turning back. The wireless phone has earned a permanent place alongside the television remote. Text messaging has proven to be the key that opens the door to increased viewer participation in reality television, and this is just the beginning of what we have planned for integrating text messaging into other non-conventional arenas."
Leading the Adoption of Messaging in the U.S.
"TextTV" is just the latest way AT&T Wireless has pioneered text messaging or short message service (SMS) in the U.S. AT&T Wireless leads the text message space in terms innovation and quality. In fact, AT&T Wireless' network was ranked the highest among all national carriers for its quality and reliability in managing text messaging traffic.*
AT&T Wireless was among the first of the national carriers to offer text messaging in the U.S. beginning in October 2000. In November 2001, AT&T Wireless became the first national carrier to allow its customers to send text messages to virtually any wireless phone -- regardless of the carrier -- simply by knowing the recipient's phone number. Last July, AT&T Wireless became the first carrier to introduce color picture messaging in the United States. In February of 2003, the company introduced multimedia messaging service (MMS) to the U.S. allowing customers to combine color pictures, animations, text and sound that can be sent to and from wireless phones.
Today, approximately eighty percent of AT&T Wireless customers have phones with text messaging capability. AT&T Wireless customers can take their compatible phones to over 100 countries and use text messaging to stay connected to family, friends, and business colleagues back here in the U.S. In addition, unlike with most other carriers, AT&T Wireless customers only pay for text messages that they send. Customers can receive an unlimited number of text messages at no charge. For additional information about the text messaging and American Idol, visit www.attwireless.com.
About AT&T Wireless
AT&T Wireless (NYSE:AWE) is the second-largest wireless carrier, based on revenues, in the United States. With 21.1 million subscribers as of March 31, 2003, and revenues of nearly $16.0 billion over the past four quarters, AT&T Wireless delivers advanced high-quality mobile wireless communications services, voice and data, to businesses and consumers, in the U.S. and internationally. For more information, please visit us at http://www.attwireless.com/.
Source: Independent study conducted by Keynote Systems - released in January of 2003.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" which are based on management's beliefs as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events made by management with information that is currently available to management. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, management's expectations regarding: our future financial and operating performance and financial condition, including the company's outlook for the fiscal year 2003 and subsequent periods; subscriber growth; industry conditions; the strength of our balance sheet; our liquidity and needs for additional financing; and our ability to generate positive operating free cash flow. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside AT&T Wireless' control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Without limitation these factors include: the risks associated with the implementation of our technology migration strategy, our ability to continue to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of our distribution channels, the potential competitive impacts of industry consolidation or alternative technologies, potential impacts on revenue and ARPU from competitive pricing and slowing penetration in the wireless industry, the effects of vigorous competition in the markets in which we operate, the risk of decreased consumer spending due to softening economic conditions, acts of terrorism, and consumer response to new service offerings. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see AT&T Wireless' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the information under the heading "Additional Factors That May Affect Our Business, Future Operating Results and Financial Condition" and "Forward Looking Statements" in its annual report of Form 10-K filed on March 25, 2003.