Earnings reports

Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

The big three wireless operators, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless , and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), kicked off earnings season for the second quarter last month, and were followed up this week by their smaller competitors: T-Mobile US Inc. , 4G operator Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), TDS Telecom -owned U.S. Cellular Corp. (NYSE: USM), and prepaid carriers Leap Wireless International Inc. (Nasdaq: LEAP) and MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS).

This quarter the story was very much about smartphones, data, and the move to 4G. Amongst the smaller guys, prepaid competition is heating up to an all-time high, benefiting the once regional MetroPCS and Leap Wireless, but putting a dent in T-Mobile's earnings.

Things are shaping up to be a lot more interesting in the second-half of the year when we'll have some 4G metrics to compare, too.

Until then, see below for Light Reading Mobile's updated chart of six key metrics, with the winner -- OK, pretty much always AT&T or Verizon -- in each starred.

Table 1: Wireless Operators' Second-Quarter Earnings
Verizon Wireless AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Clearwire US Cellular MetroPCS Leap Wireless
Total Revenue $16 billion * $14.17 billion $8 billion $5.36 billion $122.5 million $1.23 billion $1.01 billion $633.5 million
Total Subscribers 92.1 million* 90.1 million 48.2 million 33.6 million 1.7 million 6.1 million 7.6 million 5.3 million
Subscriber Additions 1.4 million 1.6 million* 111,000 -93,000 722,000 7,000 303,000 683,000
Postpaid ARPU $51.56 $62.63* $55 $52 $41.58 $46.81 $39.84 (prepaid) $37.61 (prepaid)
Total Churn 1.27%* 1.29% 1.85% 7.60% 3.20% 1.40% 3.30% 5%
Data ARPU $17.85 $21.07 not reported $11.60 n/a not reported not reported not reported
Source: Wireless operators

Check out the rest of our coverage here: — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:27:51 PM
re: Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

I say Leap benefits from prepaid competition because its new all-inclusive plans should help it compete against Metro, but I'm curious to hear what people think about its new strategy? They had a rough quarter. Will their new strategy, and new line of smartphones, help?

Same question on ability to compete applies to the rest of the smaller guys, namely Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:27:50 PM
re: Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

Can devices like the HSPA+ HTC phone help T-Mobile attract users back in the next quarter or so? 

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:27:49 PM
re: Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

I think it will help since they're mainly bleeding prepaid customers and gaining some contract ones. I hate to say it, but what T-Mobile really needs is the iPhone...

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:27:48 PM
re: Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

Good catch. Thanks, Allan. I'll get it updated. Strategy Analytics has a much superior chart to mine if you want to check it out too.

allanptj 12/5/2012 | 4:27:48 PM
re: Update: Wireless Q2 Score Card

I was a confused as to how AT&T was generating so much revenue from Wireless until I realized that the $30.8B was total AT&T revenue with approximately $14.17B coming from Wireless operations.  This would imply that Verizon Wireless is the winner in total revenue for wireless operations.

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