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.
Verizon Wireless is testing a series of promotions in various markets across the country in advance of potentially launching a national promotional offer, according to a report from an industry analyst.
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.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, lost 318,000 total customers in the first quarter, which it blamed largely on disconnections it had to make related to its participation in the federal Lifeline phone program.
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.