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.
Sprint wholesale partner nTelos Wireless struck a deal to sell up to 103 of its cell towers for $41 million to an affiliate of Grain Management, a private equity firm focused on investments in the media and communications sectors. The deal represents most of the towers that nTelos still owned and comes less than two months after nTelos announced plans to sell off its spectrum and its retail business in markets in eastern Virginia.
With a somewhat bumpy fourth-quarter reporting season expected for the Tier 1 wireless carriers, analysts at Jefferies are hoping for more "rational" pricing behavior from the large operators in 2015.
The continued subscriber momentum at T-Mobile, coupled with solid expected results from Verizon Wireless AT&T Mobility could mean that Sprint struggled in the fourth-quarter to win many net postpaid subscribers, according to financial analysts.
T-Mobile US ended the year with a bang, adding 2.1 million total net wireless customers in the fourth quarter, capping a strong year of growth for the carrier. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has pledged to pass Sprint in subscribers to become the nation's No. 3 carrier largest carrier by subscribers in 2015.
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.