USA - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Growth in the US mobile subscriber base remains strong despite penetration levels of above 110%. Declining revenue from voice services is compensated for by high growth in mobile data use, itself supported by excellent networks supporting LTE-based services and the high penetration of smartphones, which is more than 90% for some carriers. Mobile data use will grow more rapidly after 2018 when 5G services, being trialled by a number of network operators, become commercially viable. Revenue from mobile data remains subject to considerable price competition among the main players. A potential shift market dynamics can be expected in coming years following the FCC’s recommendation that mobile broadband be subject to network neutrality rules.

A major development further into 2016 will be the auction for spectrum in the 600MHz, and the use made network operators of their concessions. The US was a pioneering market in releasing former broadcasting spectrum for mobile data use. In addition, there is strong support for the use of unlicensed spectrum for LTE, though detractors have expressed concern that congested airwaves could impact on Wi-Fi services.

This report provides analyses as well as key statistics and forecasts on the US mobile market, including telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2016. It also provides an assessment of telcos’ strategies, regulatory policies, and market developments in emerging technologies.

Key developments:

Sprint 5G trials supporting 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video; FCC planning release of an additional 1GHz of spectrum for 5G use; AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US announce plans for 5G trials by end-2016; T-Mobile US secures additional 700MHz blocks for $1.3 billion; Google trials facial recognition m-payment system; FCC considers both low-end and high-end spectrum bands for possible 5G use; FCC proceeds with Citizens Broadband Radio Service, securing an additional 100MHz in the 3.5GHz-3.7GHz bands; Google launches Project Fi MVNO; FCC prepares for auction of 600MHz broadcast spectrum; AT&T to close down 2G infrastructure by end-2016; AT&T revamps operating divisions; T-Mobile US and AT&T expand VoLTE services; Verizon ends smartphone subsidies; report update includes telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile US, TracFone, MetroPCS Communications, Leap Wireless, Frontline, Alltel, US Cellular; Clearwire.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile voice
      • 3.2.1 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)
    • 3.3 Mobile data
      • 3.3.1 SMS and MMS
    • 3.4 Mobile broadband
    • 3.5 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
      • 3.5.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 FCC and NTIA develop Model City Program
    • 4.2 Public Safety Network
    • 4.3 Spectrum
      • 4.3.1 AWS spectrum
      • 4.3.2 600MHz
      • 4.3.3 800MHz
      • 4.3.4 2GHz
      • 4.3.5 700MHz
      • 4.3.6 1900MHz
      • 4.3.7 3.5GHz
    • 4.4 Spectrum swaps and acquisitions
      • 4.4.1 T-Mobile US
      • 4.4.2 AT&T
      • 4.4.3 Verizon
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 3G/UMTS
      • 5.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 5.1.3 5G developments
    • 5.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.2.1 High Seed Packet Access (HSPA)
      • 5.2.2 CDMA
      • 5.2.3 Push-to-Talk (PTT)
    • 5.3 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Industry body
    • 6.2 AT&T
      • 6.2.1 Acquisitions and sales
    • 6.3 Verizon Wireless
    • 6.4 T-Mobile US
      • 6.4.1 Merger with MetroPCS
      • 6.4.2 Interest from Softbank
      • 6.4.3 Interest from Iliad
    • 6.5 Sprint Corporation
    • 6.6 MVNOs
      • 6.6.1 Google
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 Mobile music
    • 7.2 Mobile TV
    • 7.3 M-payment
    • 7.4 M-commerce
  • 8. Mobile handsets
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile market revenue, roaming revenue, ARPU – 2000 - 2015
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Mobile voice traffic – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 4 – Mobile data traffic – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 5 – Messaging traffic (SMS, MMS) – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 6 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 7 – Verizon Wireless LTE devices on network– 2011 - 2015
  • Table 8 – M2M connections – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 9 – AT&T wireless financial data – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 10 – AT&T wireless subscribers – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2005 - 2016
  • Table 13 – T-Mobile US wireless subscribers – 2003 - 2016
  • Table 14 – T-Mobile US own-branded subscribers – 2003 - 2016
  • Table 15 – T-Mobile US ARPU (€, annualised) – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 16 – T-Mobile US ARPU ($, annualised) – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 17 – T-Mobile US financial data – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 18 – MetroPCS financial data – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 19 – MetroPCS subscribers – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 20 – Sprint financial data – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 21 – Sprint subscribers – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 22 – Sprint blended ARPU – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 23 - Online retail sales – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Tablets, smartphones in use – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 25 – Handset market share by platform – 2012 – 2013; 2015
  • Chart 1 – AT&T wireless financial data – 2004 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector– 2010 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2010 – 2016
  • Chart 4 – T-Mobile US subscribers – 2009 – 2016
  • Chart 5 – Sprint financial data – 2009 – 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – AWS spectrum auction – January 2015

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Number of pages 34

Status Current

Last updated 18 Jul 2016
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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