AT&T's strategy of focusing on high-revenue wireless customers continued to provide mixed results in the second quarter, boosting margins but causing the carrier to sacrifice share of the lucrative postpaid smartphone market in the U.S.
Virgin Mobile will move its headquarters and hire more than 50 new employees as it continues to prepare for a relaunch of Sprint's prepaid wireless brand later this year.
Cricket continued to grow its retail footprint with the addition of more than 400 Sam's Club locations.
AT&T's prepaid brand Cricket Wireless is providing $5 in credit to some users who suffered through a service outage last weekend.
AT&T's Cricket Wireless prepaid brand suffered a service outage that started late Friday afternoon and lasted through Saturday morning. The company wasn't able to provide details on the outage, including what caused the glitch and why it didn't affect AT&T's branded services.
Cricket Wireless said its products and services are now available at 3,400 GameStop locations in the U.S., underscoring increasing competition in the prepaid retail market.
AT&T's Ralph de la Vega said he is not concerned about the decline in the number of the carrier's postpaid phone customers because of the growth of AT&T's Cricket prepaid wireless business. And he said that AT&T has a significant cross-selling opportunity following its acquisition of pay-TV company DirecTV.
Verizon today said it will double the amount of data available on some of its prepaid plans, and will also offer unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada. The actions come just a few weeks after the operator reported another quarter of prepaid customer losses.
Prepaid customers have long been almost an afterthought for most major U.S. network operators, who have opted instead to focus on postpaid users who often generate higher ARPU and lower churn. But as the growth of smartphone sales slows-- and as the gap between prepaid and postpaid ARPU narrows-- carriers are increasingly focused on the prepaid segment.
Sprint is rapidly losing prepaid customers, and its self-branded prepaid phones are disappearing from retail stores as the carrier prepares to relaunch its Virgin Mobile brand in an effort to boost sales in that market.