Forecasting AT&T’s Postpaid Phone Net Additions in 1Q18



AT&T’s postpaid phone net additions

In the previous article, we discussed AT&T’s (T) expected combined domestic wireless operations service revenue growth in 1Q18. In this article, we’ll take a look at AT&T’s expected postpaid phone customer net additions for 1Q18. 

Wall Street analysts expect AT&T to report negative postpaid phone subscriber net additions due to the growing competition in its traditional US wireless market. AT&T is confident that it can report positive postpaid phone customer net additions in 2018. In 4Q17, AT&T gained 329,000 postpaid phone net customers. It posted a loss of 97,000 postpaid phone subscribers in 3Q17 and a loss of 67,000 postpaid phone subscribers in 4Q16.

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Peer comparisons of postpaid phone net additions in 4Q17

In 4Q17, T-Mobile (TMUS) added 891,000 postpaid phone net subscribers, and Verizon (VZ) added 431,000 postpaid phone net subscribers during the same quarter. Sprint (S) gained 184,000 postpaid phone net customers during fiscal 3Q17.[1. fiscal 3Q17 ended December 2017]

Postpaid handset subscribers, especially smartphone users, are of particular value to mobile carriers. Users of smartphones such as Google’s (GOOG) Android or Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone tend to have higher data usage. As a result, they are the most lucrative subscribers for mobile carriers.

In the next part, we’ll take a look at AT&T’s expected prepaid customer net additions in 1Q18.


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