U.S. Cellular continued its momentum of positive, if modest, subscriber growth in the second quarter, building on a strong end of 2014. The carrier is also on the cusp of implementing its first LTE roaming agreement.
T-Mobile US said it now expects to add 3.4 million to 3.9 branded postpaid net customers in 2015, up from the company's previous guidance of between 3 million and 3.5 million, which it issued in April.
The number of tablets with mobile data subscriptions will basically double over the next years to more than 200 million, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics. The forecast comes as many U.S. carriers continue to rely on tablet subscriptions for growth, with a long runway of tablet subscriber additions potentially ahead of them.
Regional operator and Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless said it is ahead of schedule in deploying LTE across its footprint. The carrier also reported stronger year-over-year subscriber growth in the second quarter.
AT&T Mobility added fewer postpaid customers in the second quarter than analysts were expecting and many fewer than it gained in the year-ago period. AT&T notched 410,000 postpaid subscribers in the quarter and the company relied heavily on connected cars and prepaid customers for subscriber growth in the second quarter.
Verizon Wireless edged out T-Mobile US in terms of postpaid subscriber additions in the second quarter, but relied far more heavily on adding tablet customers to do so. Despite losing feature phone and prepaid customers in the period, Verizon said it remains happy with its mix of customers.
Verizon Wireless made a strong push into equipment installment plans (EIPs) in the second quarter, according to analysts' preview of the carrier's earnings, which will be reported tomorrow. That push mirrors AT&T Mobility's enthusiasm for EIP, though Verizon is likelier going to report stronger postpaid subscriber results for the second quarter than AT&T, according to Evercore ISI.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, added just 25,000 net subscribers in the second quarter, only a slight improvement over the anemic growth the company experienced in the year-ago period. In the second quarter of 2014, the company had added just 8,000 customers.
T-Mobile US' pre-release yesterday of its second-quarter subscriber numbers--which showed strong momentum, especially in postpaid subscribers--prompted financial analysts to raise their expectations for the carrier's revenue in the period. However, analysts also think T-Mobile's EBITDA and margins could come under pressure as a result.
AT&T Mobility likely added around 500,000 postpaid customers in the second quarter thanks to tablet subscriber additions as Verizon Wireless racked up subscribers with promotional shared data plan pricing, according to analysts at Wells Fargo.