While Verizon Wireless did not provide specific subscriber growth figures for the fourth quarter, the carrier indicated it will report strong momentum in the quarter. Verizon's confidence in its fourth-quarter performance, with more than three weeks left in the year and with the holiday shopping season in full swing, speaks to the challenges Sprint and T-Mobile US face in eating into Verizon's subscriber base.
The third-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 the largest carriers fared in the quarter.
Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson has assembled these slides that provide an in-depth look at how Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile performed in the third quarter. Dawson also covers América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, which is by far the nation's largest MVNO. 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 net additions by device type.
Sprint is expected to report weak subscriber results for the third quarter, according to estimates from financial analysts, but an even bigger spotlight will be on new CEO Marcelo Claure's vision for reviving the company's results and boosting its network performance.
U.S. Cellular will launch an LTE roaming deal with a smaller carrier in the next few weeks and is currently negotiating an LTE roaming deal with a major carrier, according to CEO Ken Meyers.
HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--T-Mobile US continued to roar ahead in terms of subscriber growth in the third quarter. T-Mobile also hit its year-end LTE coverage milestone of 250 million POPs a couple of months ahead of schedule. However, T-Mobile's earnings took a hit in the quarter, in part because of the surge in subscribers and higher expenses.
AT&T Mobility reported fewer postpaid subscriber additions in the third quarter than analysts had expected. Still, the carrier reported strong data revenue growth and said that customers buying smartphones via its Next handset upgrade plan accounted for half of all smartphone sales in the quarter.
Verizon Wireless added more postpaid subscribers in the third quarter than financial analysts had expected, and the growth was again largely driven by tablet activations, not phones. Just as it did in the second quarter, in the third quarter Verizon relied heavily on tablet activations for the vast majority of its subscriber additions.
T-Mobile US is likely going to report very strong third-quarter results--and will continue its momentum through the fourth quarter thanks to the launch of Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, according to financial analysts.
Verizon Wireless is likely going to lead the pack in terms of postpaid net subscriber additions in the third quarter, according to a research note from financial analysts at Jefferies. However, the analysts expect AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US to also perform well, though they expect Sprint will continue to struggle to gain traction with its new plans and promotions.