Tablets, Prepaid, Competition Shake Up Q2
Tablets, new pricing plans and the "uncarrier" brought about some interesting subscriber dynamics in the US wireless market in the second quarter.
During the quarter, we saw Verizon Wireless make up for its slip in smartphone additions with huge tablet gains. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), on the other hand, trailed Verizon in total postpaid net adds, but far outdid Big Red in the still-important smartphone category, thanks in part to its Next device financing plans. Both lost customers on the prepaid front, with AT&T particularly feeling the burn as it has yet to move Cricket customers to its network and lost some while trying to do so. (See AT&T Plans a Prepaid Cricket Attack.)
Meanwhile, the big two's smaller competitors and merger-maybes, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. , fared quite differently in the quarter. Sprint's customer exodus continued (the figures here refer to Sprint's fiscal first quarter, which ended June 30), albeit at a slower rate than before, and it appeared most of them were going to T-Mobile, which managed to pull in 1.5 million new customers in the quarter. (See Slim Postpaid Pickings for Sprint, T-Mobile .)
To break it down, the chart below details the subscriber wins and losses for the quarter, including the operator's non-human connections.
Table 1: US Tier 1 Wireless Operators Q2
|Total Net Customer Adds||Postpaid Growth||Prepaid Growth||Smartphones Added||Tablets Added||Connected Devices||Total Customers|
|AT&T||634,000||1.03 million||405,000 (loss)||576,000||360,000||175,000||98.6 million|
|Verizon Wireless||1.4 million||304,000||14,000 (loss)||304,000||1.15 million||Not reported||104.6 million|
|Sprint (fiscal Q1)||220,000 (loss)||181,000 (loss)||542,000 (loss)||5 million||Not reported||503,000 (wholesale and affiliate customers)||53 million|
|T-Mobile||1.5 million||908,000||102,000||6.2 million||329,000 (mobile broadband, mostly tablets)||Not reported||50 million|
|Source: Operators' earnings reports|
For more, check out Light Reading's Q2 earnings coverage:
- Does T-Mobile Need Sprint to Scale?
- T-Mobile Expands VoLTE, Gets Going with 700MHz 4G
- Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On
- Sprint Seeds Market with LTE-A Handsets
- Sprint Earns $23M in Q2
- AT&T: Capex Freeze? What Capex Freeze?
- Verizon's Multicast LTE Video to Arrive in 2015
- Verizon Continues 4G LTE Capacity Spend in Q2
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading