The two main disruptors in 2015 will be Sprint and T-Mobile, as they are specifically targeting AT&T and Verizon's postpaid bases. There may be shifts throughout the year and of course volatility is expected when the next iPhone version is introduced. For 2015 carrier competition remains healthy.
U.S. Cellular capped 2014 with a strong performance in the fourth quarter. The company managed to grow its postpaid customer base in 2014, the first time it has been able to do so since 2009.
The fourth-quarter earnings season is coming to a close, so now it's time to see how the nation's top wireless carriers stacked up against each other in terms of key metrics. Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson has assembled these slides that provide an in-depth look at how Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile US performed in the fourth quarter. Dawson's research covers relatively standard metrics including revenue growth and net adds, but also includes deep dives into prepaid vs. postpaid performance, subscriber acquisitions vs. losses, and more. Special Report
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere essentially said that T-Mobile has already passed Sprint in terms of subscribers if inactive Sprint MVNO customers are taken out of Sprint's subscriber count.
T-Mobile US is open to working with Dish Network as the satellite TV company ponders its wireless options now that Dish is flush with even more spectrum following the AWS-3 auction, according to T-Mobile CEO John Legere.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has made one of his missions in 2015 to have his company pass Sprint in terms of total subscribers, to became the nation's No. 3 carrier. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure indicated that if that happens, it won't be a big deal.
Sprint continued to expand its LTE network and improve its subscriber growth trends in the fourth quarter, even though it posted a net loss of postpaid customers in the quarter.
AT&T Mobility beat analysts' expectations in terms of subscriber growth for the fourth quarter, but saw churn rise amid intensifying competition. AT&T also saw its margins drop in the quarter, as had been expected.
Verizon Wireless delivered strong subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, beating financial analysts' expectations, but the carrier also saw higher than usual churn and its margins dipped amid increasing promotions. Taken together, the results show that while Verizon continues to show resilience it is not immune to rising competition from Sprint, T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere pushed back against media interpretations of recent comments made by Timotheus Hoettges, CEO of T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom, which many outlets interpreted as Hoettges saying T-Mobile's torrid growth trajectory is unsustainable long term from a financial perspective.