The newly appointed CEO for AT&T says she’s “enthusiastic” about a year ahead of a planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, which she will oversee as she carries out plans to ramp up the network operator’s 4G and 5G wireless networks.

Cord-cutters have already made it clear that some services have no future without streaming services or low-cost subscriptions. What’s next? Entertainment (especially sports), but also news, entertainment, film and video (broadly speaking), as well as areas not typically known as entertainment.

Faced with the challenge of transforming one of the world’s oldest and largest communications giants, Deirdre O’Connell was named the new CEO of AT&T on Monday after a six-month delay caused by the failure of her predecessor, Randall Stephenson, to convince regulators to approve a proposed merger with Time Warner.

“I’m excited about what’s in front of us,” O’Connell said Monday at a teleconference with analysts. “We have great opportunities. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last six months.”

AT&T announced on Oct. 3 that Stephenson, 62, who would have been CEO, would relinquish that position and take the role of executive chairman. O’Connell, 60, has been an executive with AT&T since 2008.

AT&T’s network operator (AT&T Corp., in Britain) and media company (AT&T Broadband) still has work to do if it wants to appeal to families that will pay $200 a month for internet service but as much as $300 a month for TV and entertainment packages.

There will be a lot of technological hurdles to overcome, and the positive audience response to Tuesday’s premiere of DirecTV Now – offered on top of HBO and Cinemax – has been lukewarm at best. The second-generation DirecTV Now, launched at $35 a month, still needs to convince enough families that the price is too low, especially when competing against the Hulu package or, as subscribers are offered, Amazon Prime Video. That’s likely the reason a more expensive, $55-a-month package of HBO and Cinemax is coming soon, if the current one is sold out.

Such discounts reflect the failure of more expensive internet-based TV services, which have struggled with cost over-runs. Because these services use internet technology rather than requiring high-end wireless, costs have been lower. AT&T’s $100-a-month DirecTV Now has been losing subscribers to YouTube TV and Dish Network’s Sling TV, two of the cheaper internet TV services.

Low-cost pay-TV packages are often subsidized by other telecom services, such as wireless or broadband, so when that expense is built into a package, it can pose a financial hurdle for service providers.

“We have to figure out how we can offer less expensive offerings, but in a way that meets the needs of consumers,” O’Connell said in the teleconference. She said consumers don’t want to pay “for all the gold in the basement.”

AT&T is about to complete its acquisition of Time Warner (owned by Time Warner Inc.), but the deal has been blocked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s Justice Department, which claimed it would hurt competition and lessen the ability of consumers to buy fewer but less expensive cable TV packages. The antitrust lawsuit was put on hold after the court hearings on the case.

AT&T, which owns DirecTV, has argued that the merger does not violate antitrust laws because the companies sell many of the same services – internet, TV and phones – as one. The company offers DirecTV as a package with basic internet service for $40 a month.

O’Connell also said Time Warner, which oversees channels such as TNT, CNN and HBO, would remain financially separate from AT&T, along with its Turner Broadcasting unit. However, many analysts and investors have speculated that a merged AT&T and Time Warner might need to find ways to rely less on advertising and more on subscriptions and special offers.

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