Q2 Wireless Scorecard: When Prepaid Attacks

10 Comments

[qi:083] The second-quarter results are in, and the big carriers continued to to rake in the bucks from data, with AT&T managing to win over the most new subscribers and the biggest spenders. Thanks, iPhone! But outside of the staid world of the larger carriers, as the economic downturn and cheap plans offering unlimited voice and data convinced folks to dump their contracts and check out life on the prepaid side, the competition among prepaid players continued to heat up. Even Sprint decided to toss its hat into the prepaid ring, agreeing to pay $483 million to buy Virgin Mobile, a predominantly prepaid carrier that uses the Sprint network.

Leap Wireless (s LEAP): Reported Aug. 6
Wireless Service Revenue: $541.6 million
Wireless Operating Income: N/A
Wireless Data Revenue: N/A
Net Prepaid Subscriber Adds: 203,000
Total Subscribers: 4.5 million
Prepaid Churn: 4.4 percent
Prepaid APRU: $41.91
Metro PCS (s PCS): Reported Aug. 6
Wireless Revenue: $859.6 million
Wireless Operating Income: $111 million
Wireless Data Revenue: N/A
Net Prepaid Subscriber Adds: 206,000
Total Subscribers: 6.3 million
Prepaid Churn: 5.8 percent
Prepaid APRU: $40.52
T-Mobile: Reported Aug. 6
Wireless Revenue: $5.34 billion
Wireless Net Income: 425 million
Wireless Data Revenue: N/A
Net Prepaid Subscriber Adds: 268,000
Total Subscribers: 33.5 million
Blended Churn: 3.1 percent
Postpaid APRU: $48
Sprint (s S): Reported July 29
Wireless Revenue: $7 billion
Wireless Operating Loss: $314 million
Wireless Data Revenue: N/A
Net Prepaid Subscriber Adds: 777,000
Net Postpaid Subscriber Loss: 991,000
Total Subscribers: 48.8 million
Churn: Postpaid 2.05 percent, prepaid 6.38 percent
APRU: Postpaid $56, prepaid $34
Verizon (s vz): Reported July 27
Wireless Revenue: $15.5 billion
Wireless Operating Income: $4.46 billion
Wireless Data Revenue: $3.9 billion
Net Prepaid and Postpaid Subscriber Adds: 1.1 million
Total Subscribers: 87.7 million
Churn: Postpaid 1.01 percent
APRU: Postpaid $51.10
AT&T (s T): Reported July 23
Wireless Revenue: $13.25 billion
Wireless Operating Income: $3.2 billion
Wireless Data Revenue: $3.4 billion
Net Prepaid Subscriber Adds: 200,000
Net Postpaid Subscriber Adds: 1.2 million
Total Subscribers: 79.6 million
Blended Churn: 1.49 percent
APRU: Postpaid $60.21

10 Comments

Holly

@tom, well said! We all need to take a long hard look at how the big carriers are exploiting their customers. Two-year contracts have become the means for them to keep customers, not good customer service or better products or cheaper prices. It is a stale market (post-paid) where the big players do all they can to keep it stale.

I use only prepaid phones myself. My favorite for some time has been Tracfone where I can, admittedly with lower usage than most get away with, spend as little as $8 a month to keep the phone active and useful.

tom

we are 10 years behind europe on this; where a decade ago massive numbers of users(from all income brackets including the wealthy) ditched contracts for the freedom of prepaid. the long term result: mass competition resulting in dramatically lower pricing on high quality networks. large numbers on prepaid means the carriers have to be constantly out to beat the competition since it becomes very easy to dump on carriers for another. while i doubt americans will ever have the 90% prepaid adoption rate that many european countries have; we simply live in too much of a ‘credit culture.’ if we can get half of america on prepaid it will do wonders for both lowering pricing and the build out of much better networks for high speed data, etc.

Wolf Paulus

Adding the subscriber numbers of the big 6 wireless carriers in the US results in over 260 million. Nobody else seeing anything wrong with this number?

Stacey Higginbotham

CTIA said the US had 270 million cell phone subscriptions at the end of 2008. Also, many people have multiple subscriptions.

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