AT&T’s prepaid customer growth
Let’s take a look at AT&T’s (T) prepaid customer net additions trend over the last few quarters. The telecom company’s wireless prepaid subscribers grew ~13.2% YoY (year-over-year) to 15.7 million by the end of March.
AT&T added 241,000 net prepaid customers in the first quarter, with strength coming from the Cricket and AT&T Prepaid brands. This prepaid customer growth was relatively high among the top US (SPY) wireless players.
By the end of the first quarter, Verizon’s (VZ) prepaid subscribers decreased ~6.7% YoY to reach 5.1 million. T-Mobile’s (TMUS) prepaid customers grew ~3.4% YoY to reach 20.9 million. Sprint’s (S) prepaid customers grew ~3.5% YoY to reach 9.0 million by the end of the same quarter.
AT&T’s peer comparison of prepaid net additions
In the first quarter, Sprint and T-Mobile added 170,000 and 199,000 net prepaid subscribers, respectively. Verizon lost 335,000 prepaid customers during the same quarter.
Prepaid customers are more profitable than postpaid ones. Costs associated with prepaid customers are much lower than costs related to postpaid customers. Acquisition costs, maintenance costs, and upfront costs are all lower for prepaid customers.
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