Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s postpaid phone subscribers
Previously in this series, we discussed how T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) have managed to gain more postpaid phone subscribers than Verizon Communications (VZ) and AT&T (T). T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon managed to gain 646,000, 173,000 and 86,000 postpaid phone subscribers last quarter, while AT&T lost 180,000 such subscribers. These subscribers are considered to be the most lucrative customers for telecom companies.
Meanwhile, Apple (AAPL) released its iPhone 7 on September 7, and both Sprint and T-Mobile have announced that their pre-orders for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have exceeded pre-orders for iPhone 6 and Plus by more than four times. There was no such statement from Verizon and AT&T, which means that both Sprint and T-Mobile should again gain a chunk of postpaid phone subscribers in by the end of the current quarter.
The top four US telecom companies are expected to announce their September quarter results in the second half of October, and so we’ll know more soon about the postpaid phone subscribers gains and losses of each company.
Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s attractive wireless plans
What should be helping Sprint and T-Mobile are their attractive wireless plans, which they announced just before the launch of iPhone 7. Both these companies announced unlimited data plans for $70 and $60 per month, respectively, although the videos under these plans will be delivered at lower quality. If subscribers want to subscribe for two lines, they pay $120 and $100 per month, respectively.
AT&T and Verizon, on the other hand, don’t have such plans, although early this year, AT&T offered an unlimited plan for subscribers who also subscribe to its DIRECTV service. Verizon even raised the price of its wireless plans by $5 to $10 but also gave away more data. It also stopped charging overage fees for higher plans, instead opting to slow speeds after users consume their data limits.
In the next part, we’ll analyze churn.