SAN ANTONIO, Texas: US telco AT&T says advertising will be one of its revenue cornerstones following its recently completed acquisition of smaller rival BellSouth.

According to ceo Edward Whiteacre, the newly expanded company will begin selling ads on cellphones, TV channels and its internet-access service this year, allowing marketers to reach consumers on multiple platforms via a single operator.

He believes the business could generate several billion dollars in annual ad revenues across the next five years.

The $86 billion (€64.7bn; £43.5bn) acquisition will give AT&T control of the Cingular cellphone service, previously run as a joint venture between the two companies.

The telco will sell branded wireless services to its corporate phone and internet customers, allowing it to offer discounts for bundles that were impossible when Cingular was a separate entity. Phasing out of the BellSouth brand will begin immediately.

Data sourced from MSN Money/Reuters; additional content by WARC staff