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.
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.
AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile US, TracFone, MetroPCS Communications, Leap Wireless, Frontline, Alltel, US Cellular; Clearwire.
Number of pages 34
Last updated 18 Jul 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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