Technology in 2019 has evolved into something we could never have phantom of having a few years ago. People are dependent to technology especially with their mobile phones, people can’t live a day without waking up and going to sleep without checking their phones. Who is responsible for that norm we are living in today? Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 which he created two patents with the help of two financial backers, in 1877 the company was named The Bell Telephone Company. In 1878 the first telephone exchange opens in New Haven, Connecticut which later changed the company’s name to the Bell System. In 1882, the company acquired Western Electric company, which would secure them a supplier of telephone equipment. In 1885 the American Bell Telephone company created a charter to build a long-distance network which they completed their first long distance line which was from New York to Philadelphia. In 1894 Alexander Bells patents that he created for his telephone had expired, which forced him to open thousands of companies across the country. In 1899 Two university students attempted to develop adding coils which would reduce the rate of a traveling phone weakness, which made it possible for them to make longer telephone lines, in that same year that’s when the company comes to be named American Bell Telephone. In 1907 that’s when Theodore Vail who was the president of ATT develops a guide for the company to be in system for 70 years not knowing that the company would have ever taken off or still been successful. From 1908 to 1913 they start to acquire Western Union Telegraph which most Hispanics and Latin Americans use to send money from Mexico or other southern areas from North America, Acquiring the company led ATT to have its first ever long-distance network. 1915 to 1919 was important to ATT because it was the first time that they had ever connected its phones though a continental area which would span from the White House in Washington D.C to San Francisco but that did not come cheap as its initial prices was $20.70 for just 3 minutes of call time which resulted in volumes of calls being significantly low, soon after that happened AT&T had installed dial telephones. 1922-1927 was the first time that there was ever a commercial for AT&T which was a great marketing tactic or them as they were getting free marketing. The first ever call between the Atlantic was made through the radio broadcasting which at the time only had a capacity of one call but it suffices to say the price was not cheap as for 3 minutes of call time would cost you just about 75$. Months later ATT had demonstrated the television which was the first time anyone had ever seen a live moving image that had been transmitted over the cable which was seen by a large audience. From 1934-1937 there was service from the US and Japan which would travel across the Pacific radio broadcast which was the era of the world war. From 1940-1950 ATT starts experimenting with Coaxial cable which today transmits service through the telephone jack, the first inception of the mobile telephone had ATT service which had an antenna that would allow a maximum of 20 calls within that metropolitan area. About 40 years later ATT had acquired South Western Bell (SWB) in 1984. A telecommunications Act in 1996 expanded South Western Bell’s presence leading to Americans getting familiar with the company, by 2005 South Western Bell had acquired AT&T. Creating the new AT&T that we have known. In 2006 Cingular Wireless was bought by AT&T which lead AT&T to focus more on wireless technology and cellular devices which at that time were flip phones. In 2013 they acquired another cellular company Cricket, which allowed its customers to have prepaid plans and access to their internet services, by 2015 the acquisition of DirecTV made AT&T the largest corporation to acquire avenues from a wireless company to a pay TV provider. Knowing what we know about the evolution of technology and where it all begins you can’t really grasp your mind on how fast it evolved. Usacell and Nextel were also purchased by ATT in 2015, which would not only change the history of wireless technology and communications in the USA but of that on Mexico. Today AT&T leads in providing telephone services at homes and business as well as wireless cellular, Internet and Satellite Television.
AT&T has expanded from Mexico to South America which not only includes mobile phones but internet and digital services. It is also the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico. Hispanics and Latin Americans have all seen how AT&T has catered to their needs in terms of how many customers purchase the services they are offering. Many people may not know this, but AT&T has stake in markets from DirecTV to SKY satellite what that means is that not only are we getting great service so is Latin America. The demographic for Hispanics and Latin Americans signing up for service with ATT is staggering because it is the only company that not only has service through telephone but offers internet television and mobile plans. Many Hispanics don’t like to have many payments here and there so the fact that ATT is offering all those services in one price is amazing. AT&T knows how to market to its customers which is why they have created plans that entice the Latin and Hispanic communities to purchase plans to make calls to Mexico and Latin America which is not something other providers do at such an affordable price. It serves as 80% of the countries population that has 4G LTE networks and an LTE-M network in Mexico that has created jobs for 40,000 individuals in Mexico with 18,000 being actual ATT employees. ATT has also acquired DirecTV which has changed the Latin demographic largely, most elderly individuals choose to watch movies and television in Spanish which is great for ATT as they have a target demographic to tackle. DirecTV has launched plans that have enticed Spanish speaking customers to purchase those plans. Overall the demographics within customers that are Hispanic to Latin American decent is staggering because ATT really reached their audience listened to their needs and delivered a service they would enjoy and continue to enjoy for years to come. ATT has also contributed to a lot of charity work for Hispanic and Latin American students the ATT has the HACEMOS scholarship program which is a partnership with the Hispanic College Fund. It grants students from 18-25 year old scholarships or achieving great philanthropy work and receiving good grades throughout their high school year, Many Hispanic and Latin American parents are aware of the scholarship which is why the Hispanic demographic tends to do business with companies that not only offer great deals but also contribute back to its society and what better way to give back then to the future of tomorrow which are students.
AT&T Hispanic Plans:
AT&T is one of the strongest phone providers in the US. Providing its service across the world, but the most improved and growing part of the world is in Central and South America. They carry branches like DirecTV, Sky, and even Vrio. The company has provided more than $8 billion in Revenues on the years 2017. There AT&T Mexico is the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico and in other parts of South America. A lot of people, especially new customers may ask, ‘what is the main goal for AT&T?’, the company has answered that they are the ‘leaders’ on providing digital entertainment for all customers across the world, through their branches SKY and DirecTV.
Let us talk about the AT&T service that most Latinos/Hispanic customers will prefer to use. AT&T provides a wide variety of services that customers can choose form; they even have great line service for affordable prices. Up to $40 dollars for 4 lines are just some of those packages offer by AT&T. Another perk that many Hispanic customer enjoy about AT&T is their roaming plan data. Allowing customers to text and talk with no charges to countries like Mexico and Canada for most of their domestic plans. These types of plans are useful for many people who have family member in all Mexico. For instance, people in South Texas are most likely to have these plans because they are a border city to Mexico, and a lot of people have family members living in different parts of Mexico. Some of these customers living in this South Texas region have businesses in Mexico, and they rely on a good company that can provide a service with no troubles so they can be connected to their businesses. These packages are beneficial for any type of age group. For example, elder people may use it to contact family members in Mexico and would probably use a phone line for up to an hour, witch if they were to use other phone lines the charge rates would be high.
Any calls to other countries have different plans for those customers as well. They provide two different packages that allows these customers to call international places, those plans are the ‘pay-per-use’ or they have the option to get a ‘ILD’ service package.
AT&T with its wide variety of wireless network can provide many services for customer’s needs. They not only provide a phone network for customers to communicate, but they also provide branches for TV networks, with many channels to be watch by new Hispanic customers. DirecTV Hispanic Plans:
DirecTV throughout the years has committed to provide a wide variety of channel and networks for people in US and across the world. Let us talk about the plans offer for the Hispanic/Latino community in America. DirecTV offers plans from $29.99 a month for customers who want to broadcast Hispanic channels in their business. When you enter to check the plans online, the first thing you see as part of their marketing strategies is the Univision Logo, witch a lot of Hispanics can relate to from watching TV shows or have heard about them on other sort of media like Facebook or even YouTube ads.
Most of their plans for business are reliable in price starting from $29.99 and going to $79.99 a month. They also offer many sources like mobile and tablet apps for people to accommodate to their needs. One good thing that the online website provides is the use of both Spanish and English languages. Language as we have seen throughout the semester plays an important role in communication in many cultures around the world. Providing this sort of service in both languages can make a customer feel more comfortable with their purchase, because everything is provided in great detail; remember that most Hispanic/Latinos come from a background where everything has to be stated clear as water, otherwise they will opt to buy a product or acquire a service.
Let’s talk about the services provide in the DirecTV website. The DirecTV packages offer a tab where you click on Spanish packages. The first thing that pops out is the yellow checkmarks talking about their advantage of their service with over 85 Spanish-language channels available in the “Mas ULTRA package”, they also talk about Genie HD DVR included, and the advantage of getting the first 3 months of HBO, HBO Latino, Cinemax, and more channels for no extra cost if you get the package previously mentioned.
DirecTV relies on providing a wide variety of packages in their service. They state that some of their packages gives the customer access to more than 110 Spanish-language channels and over 240 English-languages channels making this easier for the consumer to connect to the ‘Spanish-speaking world.’
For instance, they have a package titled “Mas Latinos”, which they have a special going on in the present day where most of their package have a discount for one year under the contract, and the “Mas Latinos” is at $55.00, where after the 12 months of the contract the price goes to the $63.00 regular price. All other packages like the “Optimo Mas”, “Mas Ultra”, and “Lo Maximo” have a lower priced compared to the “Mas Latinos” with more channels, but this is used as a hook to attract the consumer and to make them think that by getting the bigger packages with more channels they will pay a fair amount of money, not knowing that after the 12 months of their contract the prices change to regular price and to be honest the packages are a bit pricy. Some of those packages go from a drastic change of $45.00 to $109.00 after the first year.
DirecTV also states that the prices listed can change at any point, saying that the offer would stay able for a limited time offer. On all their packages they include a free installment for their equipment by a professional, in case of a personal modification to the installment there are extra charges included.
One additional thing that all 4 packages share is the access to watch Premium Movies. The company will give 3 months of free access to watch premium movies, which is $53.99 regular price per month. After these 3-month trial if the customer does not cancel the plan before the offer is over, charges will be added to the monthly fee charges.
We interviewed AT&T employees to further get an understanding of how many Hispanics and Latinos really get these types of plans that are geared towards the Hispanic and Latin America demographic. We ask current AT&T employee Monica Torrez.
In the San Antonio region do you typically see an influx of customers purchasing international plans to make calls to Mexico? Typically, we don’t see customers purchasing these types of plans, the reason why is that AT&T offers its customers international calling for free when they get unlimited plans. A couple of years ago many mobile companies did not have this feature in which customers wanting to make calls outside of the US to Mexico would pay about 5-10$ just for a Mexico or an international plan.
In a Month how many customers purchase a plan to talk to someone in South America? AT&T offers unlimited calling to Mexico; however, this does not apply to Latin American areas, for example let’s say a customer from San Antonio wants to make a call to Argentina. They would have to get an International Day Pass. You pay a daily fee of 10 dollars a day and you don’t incurred any fees because of it, so to answer your questions yes, we have had about 10% of total customers in this store that have come to add the International Day Pass plan.
Do any customers who purchase the International Day Pass inquire any issues in terms of service or communication issues with their relatives in the Latin American region? I have heard of some customers having issues, to me their issues stem from technology problems from their cell phone. Perhaps they have a faulty microphone, or they exposed their phone to water. That’s primarily issues some customers face when they have any issues, but for the most part customers with the daily pass don’t have any problems contacting their relatives.
We asked Abraham Smith from the Mission AT&T location as follows
How do you target to Hispanic customers in the RGV area? Hispanic customers in the RGV area are more of a traditional customer that wants everything said under the contract of the service nice and clear so they can analyze every detail they are being offered by any company. This sort of customers will be attracted to bigger quantity and better-quality services for a reliable cheap price. Most packages offer by AT&T and branches are the perfect fit for all types of customers and ages.
AT&T’S competitor is spectrum, do you see a decline from Hispanic customers due to its competitor? Spectrum is good competitor with a lot of potential that is coming up in many parts of the US. Although it’s a good competitor, there is not much of a danger for AT&T, do to our variety of offers the company has across all branches. We provide good customer care and service for all our customers in the US and abroad. We always count on special offers for our packages and even have separate packages for our Hispanic customers who will enjoy watching Spanish language channels; plus, we keep updated on every new show that our customers might like on our service. That’s why I will answer a NO, to the question of seeing a decline of Hispanic customers, our service and network can’t be compared domestically or internationally.
These are some resources gathered to identify the language most Hispanics Americans speak that would further help us identify the increase or decline of their Hispanic and Español plans.
- “AT&T Latin America Profile.” AT&T News, Wireless and Network Information, 6 July 2018, about.att.com/pages/company_profile_latin_america
- “AT&T Unlimited Data Plans Give You More with Free Live TV.” AT&T® Official - Wireless, Internet, & DIRECTV Offers, www.att.com/plans/unlimited-data-plans.html?source=EC1N250000000000P&WT.srch=1&wtExtndSource= att plan&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2IrmBRCJARIsAJZDdxDz7u7r9iePYcYHpEwu_CmdkMbmeFVcq3WC8b_l_x9qYIEhGb6TmtYaAtlqEALw_wcB
- “Home Page.” Directv, www.directvofertas.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw2IrmBRCJARIsAJZDdxBwZlhUeYfJiakRBElObXfyLTqmH83J6j7sxmN7mKQuNjgbhS3GxkIaAlrcEALw_wcB
- “DIRECTV Spanish TV Packages ι Latino Channels & Bundles.” AT&T® Official - Wireless, Internet, & DIRECTV Offers, www.att.com/directv/spanish-packages.html
- Terminos y Condiciones, www.usdirect.com/es/terminos.
- The historical brands of AT&T, Brand - Licensing, Evolution and Domain Names, https://about.att.com/innovation/ip/brands/history
- “A brief history of the company that is as old as the telephone itself”, CNN money, https://money.cnn.com/2001/07/09/deals/att_history/.
- “AT&T IS”, AT&T official website, https://about.att.com/ecms/dam/sitesdocs/ATT_DandI_2017_AR_FINAL.pdf