NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I don't consider myself old, but I often find myself talking about the past in the same way that "boring older people" did when I was younger.Take AT&T (T - Get Report), for example.
In the last 12 years, AT&T transitioned from a landline telco offering cellphone service into a cellphone provider offering U-verse. U-verse is a blended service of high-speed Internet and TV. Although I am unable to subscribe to U-verse at my home (I can get DSL.), most locations that are able to subscribe to U-verse are also able to select a similar competing offering from another such as Charter, Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Verizon Communications (VZ - Get Report). Regardless of the competitive landscape, AT&T is executing well. Wireless revenue increased 5.7% last quarter compared to the same period last year. Wireless data revenue increased nearly 20%, and the previously mentioned U-Verse service reached a new mile-stone of 5 million active subscribers. AT&T's valuation is a little rich when examined through the rearview mirror, but if we look at estimated earnings, this wireless carrier becomes downright cheap. The forward price-to-earnings ratio is only 13.3, and the amount of debt in relation to cash flow, earnings, and cash on hand also makes AT&T attractive. Verizon and Sprint (S), the other two of the three biggest carriers, failed to encroach on AT&T's market share nearly as much as some predicted when Apple (AAPL) discontinued the exclusive deal with AT&T and started offering iPhones to others.