Grading the top 10 U.S. carriers in the first quarter of 2011

Tools

The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2011 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and

The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2011 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier. The subscriber figures include both retail and wholesale customers.

This list does not include resellers or MVNOs such as TracFone.

And don't forget to see how these figures stack up against first quarter 2009, second quarter 2009, third quarter 2009, fourth quarter 2009, first quarter 2010, second quarter 2010, third quarter 2010 and fourth quarter 2010 figures.

(Don't forget to check out our wrap-up of the wireless industry in the first quarter and a list of the top handset makers in the first quarter.)

As the first-quarter reporting season comes to a close, it's time to start parsing the information to see which carriers slipped and which managed to get ahead. Click here for some of the big themes from the quarter.

 

Top US Wireless Carrier Metrics Q1 2011 (ranking by subscribers, retail + wholesale)
  Carrier Subscribers (millions) Net Adds (millions) Churn
(Avg
Monthly)
Service
Revenue
($millions)
Data %
of Service
Revenue
ARPU
1 Verizon Wireless 104.022 1.776 1.31% $14,311 38.1%  $51.88
2 AT&T 97.519 1.984 1.36% $13,961 36.6%  $48.15
3 Sprint Nextel* 50.761 1.111 2.52% $6,649 n/a  $48.44
4 T-Mobile USA 33.635 -0.099 3.40% $4,630 28.6%  $45.82
5 MetroPCS 8.881 0.726 3.10% $1,050 n/a  $40.42
6 Clearwire** 6.148 1.765 1.76% $246 100.0%  $15.58
7 US
Cellular
6.033 -0.039 1.83% $985 n/a  $54.29
8 Leap Wireless 5.849 0.331 3.10% $678 n/a  $39.35
9 Cellular South *** n/a          
10 ATN 0.674 -0.044 4.29% $144 n/a  $47.23
11 Cincinnati Bell 0.504 -0.005 3.17% $65 29.1%  $42.78
12 Ntelos 0.430 -0.003 3.54% $98 28.6%  $50.80
               
Subscribers include retail and wholesale connections of both traditional and new connected device categories (e.g. M2M)
*Sprint Nextel subscribers and net adds excluding estimated number of affiliate subscribers, but including wholesale; service revenues excluding wholesale and affiliate
**Clearwire subscribers and net adds include wholesale subs outside current 4G network coverage area, but from whom Clearwire receives nominal revenue, in addition to approx 40,000 subscribers in international markets. Revenues/ARPUs are pro-forma results, which include some Q1 wholesale revenue which will be recorded in Q2.
***Cellular South is a private company and does not reveal its metrics, estimated to have c. 900,000 subscribers
Source: Strategy Analytics, based on carrier reports