AT&T officially rebrands its ad business as Xandr

AT&T's ad and analytics business is now called Xandr. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)

AT&T has officially relaunched its advertising and analytics business as Xandr, an edgy take on the name of AT&T founder Alexander Graham Bell.

The new unit comprises AT&T’s data and analytics business,, AppNexus and AT&T’s advanced TV business, AT&T AdWorks.

“Xandr is a name that draws inspiration from AT&T’s rich history, including its founder Alexander Graham Bell, while imagining how to innovate and solve new challenges for the future of advertising,” said Xandr CEO Brian Lesser in a statement. “Our purpose is to Make Advertising Matter and to connect people with the brands and content they care about. Throughout AT&T’s 142-year history, it has innovated with data and technology, making its customers’ lives better. Xandr will bring that spirit of innovation to the advertising industry.”

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Xandr said it has agreements with Altice USA and Frontier Communications to aggregate and sell their national addressable TV advertising inventory. Those agreements are meant to help establish a national TV marketplace for advertisers and content publishers. Xandr said it will also collaborate with a4, Altice USA’s advanced advertising business, to help expand a4’s nationwide addressable digital advertising capabilities.

After AT&T earlier this year completed its acquisition of Time Warner, it began touting solutions that would use Turner’s ad-supported programming and AT&T’s customer insights.

“AT&T’s in a unique position to do that because we are now content owners—Time Warner is one of the best content libraries in the world—and we’re also distributors of content, and we have technology and data,” Lesser told CNBC. “Imagine you’re home and you’re watching your big screen on your living room wall. [It’s] DirecTV and you’ve also got an AT&T phone in your pocket. We’re the only company that knows you’re watching a big screen on the wall and you’ve got a small screen in your pocket. Imagine, you’re watching content and instead of us interrupting the content with a traditional commercial break, we can show an icon on the screen that indicates to you that there might be a mixed reality experience where you can get more information about the car you just saw or the dress you just saw.”