T-Mobile customers most loyal among U.S. carriers, BI finds

hands coffee smartphone
Nearly one-fourth of T-Mobile customers said they wouldn't switch carriers "for anything."

T-Mobile’s customers are the most loyal of any major wireless carrier in the country, according to Business Insider.

BI Intelligence’s Digital Telecom Consumer survey found that 23% of T-Mobile’s subscribers said they wouldn’t switch carriers “for anything,” topping the 16% of AT&T customers and 15% of Verizon customers who said the same. Sprint finished a very distant fourth in the survey, with only 7% of subscribers saying they wouldn’t switch service providers.

As BI Intelligence points out, T-Mobile’s advantage in customer loyalty is especially noteworthy considering the saturated smartphone market in the United States. Roughly 77% of consumers own a smartphone, according to Pew Research, which has resulted in an ultracompetitive market that has seen every major operator launch unlimited data services in the last year.

“Average revenue per user across the Big Four dropped to $45 in Q1 2017, from $49 in Q1 2014,” Business Insider wrote. “To remain profitable, carriers need to maintain or grow their customer base.”

Meanwhile, the industry-wide move away from two-year service contracts has made it easier for users to switch carriers.

It isn’t clear that T-Mobile’s advantage in customer loyalty is paying real dividends, however. The carrier reported a record low branded postpaid phone churn of 1.1% in the latest quarter, down 17 bps year over year, but every major U.S. operator enjoyed low churn during the relatively placid quarter. And T-Mobile’s blended average monthly churn during the quarter was 2.24%, barely outpacing Sprint (2.28%) and significantly trailing AT&T (1.28%) and Verizon (1.19%).

And like its rivals, T-Mobile’s coverage and capacity are vulnerabilities in a highly competitive market. Business Insider reported that 42% of T-Mobile’s customers said they’d switch to a provider that offered better coverage where they live, while smaller percentages of AT&T and Verizon customers said the same.