How are the largest U.S. carriers faring on key metrics like subscribers, revenue and ARPU? The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2015 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Special report
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2015 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.
Despite falling overall U.S. tablet sales, the nation's Tier 1 wireless carriers continued to add cellular-connected tablets to their networks at an impressive clip in the first quarter. Analysts note that carriers have been heavily promoting and discounting tablets, which generate additional revenue streams for carriers while carrying lower subsidy costs.
After Sprint revealed that it burned through $914 million in cash in the first quarter, some analysts and investors questioned the company's long-term liquidity and its ability to turnaround its business. However, Sprint executives maintain that the company will continue to invest to acquire customers and improve its network, and it has enough money to do both.
Sprint edged out T-Mobile US and retained the title of the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier in the first quarter, remaining ahead of its rival for at least another quarter. Sprint added 1.2 million total customers in the period and though it lost postpaid handset customers it pared back those losses compared to earlier quarters.
Sprint likely lost postpaid handset customers in the first quarter but could report stronger financial results when it posts its quarterly earnings tomorrow, according to Wall Street analysts at Evercore ISI. In a research note, Evercore analysts Jonathan Schildkraut and Justin Ages also wrote that network quality continues to be a problem for Sprint that will need to be addressed.
T-Mobile US easily outpaced Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility in postpaid adds during the first quarter. The company also raised its guidance for postpaid subscriber additions for 2015 from the previously guidance of 2.2 million to 3.2 million to between 3 million and 3.5 million.
T-Mobile US is likely going to continue to be the leader in gaining wireless market share in the first quarter, according to new estimates from financial analysts at Evercore ISI.
AT&T Mobility reported better-than-expected postpaid subscribers in the first quarter, adding 441,000 new subscribers. In addition the company reported churn of just 1.02 percent, which it said was the best it had ever reported in a first quarter.
Although Verizon Wireless reported improving margins, the carrier added fewer postpaid customers in the period than many financial analysts had expected. The company also lost 3G smartphone and prepaid customers in the quarter. In the past, Verizon executives have said they are willing to part with such customers and not get bogged down in a price war to retain them.