Last updated: July 19, 2010 - 8:28am
These are testing times for Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT&T.
Investors are fretting about the impact of AT&T losing its privileged position as the exclusive US mobile network for Apple's popular iPhone. The deal, which has been an enormous sales boon to AT&T, is expected to end within a year. Meanwhile, some of AT&T's customers, notably in New York and San Francisco, are angry at how the group's mobile phone network was overwhelmed last year by the bandwidth-hungry iPhone.
The data-clogged network left some customers unable to make phone calls. In many ways, AT&T's challenges encapsulate those of the broader industry. Telecoms companies generate large amounts of cash and offer healthy dividend yields, but investors anxious about commoditisation fear the industry will witness little or no growth as the world emerges from recession.
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