U.S. Cellular continued to bleed subscribers in the fourth quarter and also said it would be unable to predict its performance in 2014 at this time. The company cited a number of factors in holding back on providing guidance, including continued churn related to issues with its new billing system.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO, TracFone Wireless, returned to a brisk pace of subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 after growth stalled in the third quarter. However, the company was unable to meet the subscriber growth it showed in the fourth quarter of 2012.
AT&T reported weaker wireless subscriber growth for the fourth quarter than it had in the year-ago period, but the company also posted stronger data revenues.
Verizon Wireless added fewer total subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2013 than it did in the fourth quarter of 2012, but still powered ahead with 1.7 million net customer additions in the period. Although T-Mobile US is wreaking havoc in the industry with its lower prices and offers to pay customers' early termination fees if they switch and trade in their phones, T-Mobile's aggressive tactics do not appear to have slowed Verizon much in the fourth quarter.
Sprint is expected to report weak postpaid subscriber results for the fourth quarter, likely losses of 150,000 customers, while Verizon Wireless will report 1.5 million new customers, according to estimates from Credit Suisse analysts. Meanwhile, according to the analysts, data plan sales at T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility likely grew, while remaining steady at Verizon and Sprint.
connections, according to Sharma. That growth was driven largely by continued momentum from Verizon Wireless and AT&T, but more importantly by a rejuvenated T-Mobile. Here's a quick breakdown on the nation's top wireless carriers and their general strategic position at the close of the third quarter:
T-Mobile US rolled to another strong quarter of subscriber growth in the third quarter, making good on executives' promises that the carrier would continue the momentum generated by its new no-contract plans, handset upgrade program and aggressive new style.
T-Mobile US is expected to report strong subscriber growth in the third quarter, according to analysts, and may once again lead U.S. carriers in terms of phone subscriber additions in the period.
AT&T reported stronger subscriber growth and posted record smartphone sales in the third quarter. The company is plowing ahead with its LTE network deployment and thinks its network strength will insulate it from intensifying competition in the market.
Wireless carriers are in for a tumble over the next several years, as the subscriber and average revenue per user growth trend that have historically characterized the industry starts to wane, according to a new report from Ovum.