AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless and its Cricket brand has now received FCC approval, but it will be a few months before AT&T aggressively promotes what it has dubbed the "new Cricket," according to financial analysts.
Sprint launched a new no-contract offering dubbed "Sprint Prepaid" to go offer the prepaid market, a brand that will stand apart from Sprint's existing Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands. The brand's introduction comes amid intensifying competition in the no-contract market.
The FCC approved AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless, the last hurdle the Tier 1 carrier needed to overcome to gain control of the regional prepaid provider and its Cricket brand. AT&T has vowed to retain the Cricket brand and compete aggressively on price in the prepaid market using the brand.
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the fourth quarter of 2013 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. As the fourth-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.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said that the model that has prevailed in the U.S. wireless industry for years of customers getting subsidized devices in exchange for signing two-year contracts is radically shifting.
Leap Wireless lost nearly 92,000 net customers in the fourth quarter, bringing its total customer base to just 4.55 million at the end of 2013. The prepaid carrier blamed the losses on increasing competition from nationwide operators, particularly T-Mobile US and its MetroPCS brand.
AT&T Mobility bolstered its 700 MHz and AWS spectrum holdings by moving to acquire a handful of licenses from Oregon cable company BendBroadband, and AT&T intends to use the airwaves to add capacity to its LTE networks.
AT&T reported weaker wireless subscriber growth for the fourth quarter than it had in the year-ago period, but the company also posted stronger data revenues.
How did the wireless industry perform in the fourth quarter of 2013? Check here throughout the fourth-quarter earnings report season for full earnings reports from the wireless industry's...
T-Mobile US COO Jim Alling said AT&T Mobility's old "Next" handset upgrade program was a "ripoff" that shortchanged customers, which is why he thinks AT&T made changes to Next and its rate plans last week.