How much is a wireless customer worth?

Feb 16 2004 - 01:38 PM ET | In The News
With the talk of AT&T Wireless bids in the $38 billion price range, we thought some math was in order. According to the company, and the end of 2003, AT&T Wireless had 22 million customers. At a price of $38 billion, that's over $1,700 a customer. Now obviously, there is a lot of network gear involved in the deal, but Cingular already operates a national network with more coverage area than AT&T Wireless. They already have sales and billing software in place. They already have retail outlets and dealers nationwide. Vodafone would get more for their money because they have no presence in the US. The big prize for Cingular is the title "#1 US carrier", and evidently that is what is worth $1,700 a customer. Update: Using Cingular's winning bid of $41 billion, it comes to over $1,860 per AT&T Wireless customer.