Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/14/2012 -- The US mobile market continued to grow in Q112, despite poor performance from the larger players in the market. We believe mobile subscribers reached 336.8mn in Q112, with net additions of 5.2mn. This is an increase on Q311 and Q411.
The US is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, leading the global market in LTE technology, and in Q112 operators reported impressive growth in data revenues. This has managed to sustain ARPUs over the year, with no change in Q111 and Q112 ARPU. Pessimistic jobless rates data released on June 15 2012 indicate that the economy continues to falter, and a full-blown recovery is not yet under way. Private consumption will remain weak as households continue to deleverage, although business investment continues to grow across sectors, including telecoms.
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Verizon, AT&T and Sprint all enjoyed growth in prepaid subscribers in Q112, while T-Mobile reported a dramatic fall of 819,000 subscriber losses. In contrast, T-Mobile recorded the largest number of postpaid subscriber net additions, enjoying 1,268. As the iPhone was not released on T-Mobile's network, its postpaid net additions are less affected - all other operators reported muted growth in postpaid subscriptions that quarter, the result of the iPhone upgrades of Q411, which means there are fewer subscribers left to upgrade in Q112.
In May 2012 Verizon announced it would divest wireless spectrum in the 700MHz band in order to gain favour for a US$3.6bn deal with Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to use spectrum reaching 259mn people. It received 36 offers for its spectrum in the 700MHz band. The FCC is in the process of reviewing the deal and a decision is due on August 7 2012. While BMI believes it will ultimately be allowed, stringent requirements are likely to be imposed.
Sprint experienced a disappointing Q112, with a US$863mn loss, compared with a US$439mn loss in Q111. Revenue jumped 5.1% to US$8.73bn. Sprint reported it lost 192,000 two-year contract subscribers in Q112, as a gain of 263,000 in its namesake brand failed to overcome losses at its waning Nextel unit. Sprint saw iPhone sales fall from Q411 highs, although the 17% drop to 1.5mn was lower than its rivals.
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