U.S. carriers in Q2 2013: a summary

U.S. carriers in Q2 2013: a summary
There are four carriers that run the show in the United States - Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, but as the industry evolves so do change their standings. Which one is the biggest and which one is the fastest growing? Which has the biggest churn and which customers pay the most per month? All of this data is summarized in both tables and graphs by Strategy Analytics.

You might know that Verizon Wireless is the largest U.S. carrier by subscribers (it has nearly 118 million), and it keeps its position in the second quarter of the year. The difference between Verizon and AT&T is tiny, but it actually grew wider in Q2 2013.

AT&T also grew its subscriber base to almost 108 million and average revenue per user reached some $48.

Sprint was the only carrier with negative subscriber growth but that is largely because of the Nextel shutdown. The carrier lost a whopping 1.8 million customers, but expectations are positive after Japanese SoftBank bought a majority stake in the carrier.

Finally, T-Mobile’s strategy started showing its fruits. The company got the iPhone recently and unveiled new more affordable no commitment plans. All this resulted in 1.1 million new subscribers, but ARPU was the lowest of all big four at $38. Great for customers, not so much for the carrier. Take a look at all the stats right below.


source: Strategy Analytics via Fierce Wireless



1. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

They failed to mention T-Mobiles acquisition of MetroPCS. Is that part of their 1.1 million new subscribers? Because a few articles earlier said they added 1.6 million MetroPCS customers this past quarter. So would T-Mobile still be bleeding relentlessly?

3. g2a5b0e unregistered

The 1.1 million new subscribers are independent of the almost 10 million they added from MetroPCS.

6. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

ummm sir, it was MetroPCS that acquired T-Mobile. Not the other way around.

10. Eclectech

Posts: 355; Member since: May 01, 2013

Actually, No ...Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile acquired MetroPCS. They just chose to use MetroPCS ticker symbol for trading purposes.

16. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

no sir, as an investor I know that MetroPCS acquired them in what we like to call here a "reverse merger"

26. scsa852k

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

Are you on drugs?

35. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

T00muchF00D is actually correct. Metro PCS acquired T-Mobile in a reverse merger they just kept the TMO name. Look it up.

40. JCarroll

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 25, 2013

Actually T00muchF00D, Eclectech isn't wrong but your still right. Duetsche Telekom brokered this deal with MetroPCS where it was a reverse merger so MetroPCS did acquire T-Mobile but in return Telekom owns 74% of the joint company therefore T-Mobile still holds priority over PCS.

8. Galen20K

Posts: 579; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

hey Troll, perhaps you should know what you're taking about before posting.

23. miles16852

Posts: 241; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

guess it takes a TROLL to know a troll !

2. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

You call a 10 MILLION subcriber difference between Verizon and AT&T "tiny" (no pun intended)??! I don't know what kind of math schooling you've had but, here in Kansas, that's mega huge!!

4. g2a5b0e unregistered

I would agree that the difference isn't tiny, but mega huge is also quite the exaggeration. You have to think of it in context of the total subscribers. Verizon has 9% more customers than AT&T. 9% isn't a huge number even if it's 10 million custumers.

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

All of the rapid growth can be attributed to the iPhone.

13. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

iPhone sales are worse than ever before and will continue to crash, its because of Samsung.

28. wumberpeb

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 14, 2011

I have you a +1 because you're THAT dumb

33. zibbyzib2000

Posts: 221; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

I gave you a +1 because you misspelled "gave"

7. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

I'm surprised T-Mobiles churn isn't worse. I know a few people who got suckered in by their misleading commercials and cancelled rather quickly once they realized they were overpaying for something that doesn't work. Does Churn include people canceling within the 14 day policy?

9. Galen20K

Posts: 579; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

And I'm really surprised that you're still trolling.

14. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

How is it misleading any way.

17. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

How is it misleading? Lets see... They claim they don't do contracts but if you get a new device your stuck in a 20 month commitment (contract) and to get out of it you have to pay a fee. That's just one. Then they claim unlimited data but its not. They throttle at 5GBs now. Their Jump program is a rip off. You pay an extra $10 a month and pay a fee to get a new phone... Cough cough isn't that INSURANCE??? Lets look at the real T-Mobile.. To get a decent device with TMobile you have to pay $90 /month ($10 more a month than Sprint and the same price as AT&T or Verizon with 2-3GBs). They by far have the worst coverage, and their Jump program is a complete and utter joke. They claim to have a lot of 4G data but yet I find mostly 2G data. Me troll? No just irritated by their misleading campaign. Until recently I sold Tmobile and it was pathetic how many returns we got. Instead of advertising a lot, instead USE THAT MONEY TO FIX YOUR AWFUL NETWORK. Thanks :)

19. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

They don't do cellular plan contracts. Of course you enter a contract with the phone payments if you don't buy it outright. That would be like going to a ford dealership and buying a new car, stop paying the monthly payments and expecting to keep the car....."I want things for free that you are required to pay for" is what people who bring up your point sound like. I'm pretty sure their $70 plan is unlimited 4G data, even if they throttled it...that still makes it unlimited...just not quick. So that part is still better than what VZW and AT&T offer I think all those early upgrade planes are a ripoff, including the ones from VZW and AT&T. Sprint doesn't have one that I know of. You can bring your own device and pay $70 a month, you dont have to buy a device through them. You could just go to the play store and get the nexus 4. I still think Sprint is a better deal, and will only get better as their LTE services blanket more and more of the US. Theyll be putting clearwires spectrum on every existing tower and adding new ones, which means there will be tons of capacity across the entire network.

20. nnjerzy

Posts: 126; Member since: Jun 19, 2013

You have no idea and what the hell ur talking about Ruckus.. TMOB does not throttle ,, u should have your facts in order before you type and speak.. smh what has this world come too? There unlim 4g lte 70 plan does not throttle ,, i have been using about 50 gigs of lte every single month so how is that throttle..? I have no issues or prob with the service period. Its not misleading... pay your phone out right and you dont have to worry about the extra 20.00

24. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Well you should explain to my former Tmobile customers as to why they get throttled at 5GBs. Buying the phone outright makes it MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. Lets take the GS4. One sells for what? $600-$700 outright? If you were to break that down into monthly installments its $30+ /mo. So buying it outright makes Tmobile far worse. Let me guess.. You live in a city right? The only place Tmo seems to work. I sold Tmo for 3 years, I think it's you that should get your story straight. And to think you thought buying the device outright was better than paying the $20 lmfao. Sprint owns Tmobile there.

29. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

T-Mobile hasn't throttled on their highest plans in months. Also, it's pretty hard to get above 5 gigs anyway, let alone the 50 someone above mentioned. I don't think I know anyone who uses 50 per month on their home wired internet. Maybe they tried it last year? Also, sprint is trash. Too expensive for what you get, worst phone selection of the big four, worst phone pricing, and they shot themselves in the foot with the iphone and Nextel deals. They'll also close your account for using too much data.T-Mobile's prices start low, and only get comparable to the other three if you subsidize a phone purchase, and then only for 20 months, so the longer you keep the phone, the less you pay. Notably, the S4 is $20 a month on the NEXT/EIP setup, so $480 plus the down payment, which is between $0 and $149 based on credit and history, for a maximum of $529, $120 cheaper than an iphone5 off contract. You can also opt to get any other compatible phone you want to use. $120 Nokia Lumia 521? Sure. $50 phone bought off Craigslist? Yep. That way there's no need to pay the extra per month, saving around $30 per month for many folks versus the other three.

11. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Actually, the loss of customers for Sprint are mostly due to the fact that they don't really have a 4G network and that their 3G network is crapy (except in certian areas). The fact that they shutdown the Nextel opperations might have also contributed to their loss as well, though.

12. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Actually no, Sprint's largest loss came from shutting down the Nextel network and many enterprise lines which had not been migrated to Sprint Direct Connect yet. Additionally, a large piece was due to deactivation of federally mandated wireless subsidy program. Verizon and AT&T have similar programs, not sure about TMO. Either way, the gov't mandated deactivation of unused lines they were subsidizing and Sprint's were included in Q2 results.

15. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

The only reason Sprint isn't dead is because they have huge goverment and private company contracts.

18. Ruckus

Posts: 286; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

No way. Sprint is killing it as of late minus closing down Nextel. Their plans and coverage make T-Mobile look bad. True Unlimited data vs Fake Unlimited Data. Sprint wins.. Well against Tmobile haha. Not so much the others yet..

21. flynfree

Posts: 374; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

I think exynos 5420 is for international version, and the s800 is for U S. And I'm satisfied if the design of gnote3 is the same with the s4....just me!!!

22. Geezy03

Posts: 43; Member since: Apr 10, 2009

I think with the SoftBank and clear deals done, sprint will start to see progress as more and more LTE signals are popping up.

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