USA - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in the USA’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- January 2019 (16th Edition)

Executive Summary

USA remains among leaders for 5G into 2019

Growth in the US mobile subscriber base remains strong, with a penetration rate of about 127%. Declining revenue from voice services is compensated for by high growth in mobile data use, itself supported by upgraded networks based on LTE technologies. Smartphone penetration is also high, which had encouraged mobile data use among subscribers. The major operators, led by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US, have partnered with vendors to trial 5G technologies and services and will be expanding their commercial services further into 2019 and into 2020. In addition, operators are working on the potential of NB-IoT, LTE-U and LTE-A technologies, in some respects as complementary technologies supported by 5G.

Major recent developments include the complex reserve auction for spectrum in the 600MHz band, which raised more than $19 billion. Although network operators must wait for spectrum allocations to be concluded, the additional 70MHz made available will go far to supporting mobile broadband in rural areas and improving network capacity.

In addition to the auction of 28GHz spectrum in late 2018 the FCC plans other auctions in 2019 (for spectrum in the 24GHz, 37GHz, 39GHz and 49GHz bands) to increase the amount of spectrum available for 5G.

Given the size of the US broadband market, and the growing demand for data on both fixed and mobile networks, there is continuous pressure for operators to invest in fibre networks, and to push connectivity closer to consumers. In recent years the US has seen increased activity from regional players as well as the major telcos and cablecos. Much of this activity was stimulated by Google Fiber following its investments in a number of markets. Although Google Fiber (now managed through Alphabet’s Access unit) began scaling back its efforts in late 2016, the company’s legacy has been profound. It encouraged the major providers to reduce pricing for their similar offers, stimulated interest among municipal leaders, and highlighted the fact that haphazard and potentially duplicated fibre deployments are no effective substitute for municipally-led wholesale fibre infrastructure accessible to any provider.

Local networks supported by municipal governments have also sprung up despite the lobbying efforts of AT&T and Verizon aimed at preventing local competition. However, for their part AT&T and Verizon have both refocussed efforts on FttP rather than FttN, looking at the benefits of current investments for decades to come. G.fast is also being rolled out, to a lesser degree, in areas where FttP is less feasible, while a growing number of cablecos have also deployed DOCSIS3.1.

There is growing recognition of the importance of a trans-sectoral approach to broadband networks, including the health, education and energy sectors, in order to fully realise the benefits of the nascent digital economy. The FCC’s Eight Fixed Broadband report, published in December 2018, revealed how much still needs to be done to move the US broadband market forward.

This report provides analyses as well as key statistics and forecasts on the US mobile market. It also assesses telcos’ strategies, regulatory policies, and developments in the deployment of emerging technologies. In addition the report covers the cable, DSL, FttP, Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband markets, providing market analyses as well as a range of relevant statistics.

Key developments:

  • T-Mobile US merger with Sprint receives government approvals;
  • Sprint signs MVNO deal with Altice USA;
  • FCC authorises the use of LTE-U devices in the under-utilised 5GHz band;
  • 5G trials supporting 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video;
  • AT&T launches national LTE-M service;
  • T-Mobile US secures additional 700MHz blocks for $1.3 billion;
  • Google trials facial recognition m-payment system, launches Project Fi MVNO;
  • AT&T closes down 2G infrastructure, reassigns spectrum for LTE;
  • Altice USA to deliver a 10Gb/s service across its footprint by 2022, split off from parent company;
  • Fiber Broadband Association counts 41 million premises passed with fibre;
  • AT&T invests $14 billion in LTE and U-verse network;
  • Maine Fiber Co completes 1,100 mile open network fibre backbone;
  • Charter Communications launches 1Gb/s DOCSIS3.1 service;
  • Round 2 auction of the Connect America Fund completed;
  • Report update includes telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile US, TracFone, MetroPCS Communications, Leap Wireless, Frontline, Alltel, US Cellular, Clearwire, Google, CenturyLink, Qwest, Frontier Communications, Windstream, Fairpoint, Cincinnati Bell, Comcast, HughesNet, ViaSat, Altice USA

Henry Lancaster
January 2019

Table of Contents

  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
      • Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Policy and regulation framework
      • Network regulation overview
      • Broadband stimulus package
      • FCC’s National Broadband Plan
      • Private networks
      • Network neutrality
    • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • New technologies
      • Cable operators
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Introduction
      • Verizon
      • AT&T
      • Frontier Communications
      • G.fast developments
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • Wi-Fi
      • WiMAX
      • Municipal wireless broadband
      • State and municipal deployments
      • Satellite broadband
      • PLC
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • Market analysis
      • Market overview
      • FttP network rollout
    • Policy and regulation framework
      • National Broadband Plan
      • Gigabit City Challenge
    • Public (ILEC, CLEC and Municipal) FttP networks
      • Municipalities
      • Google Fiber
      • FCC ruling on municipal fiber networks
      • Other projects/providers
    • RBOC FttP roll-out
      • Verizon
      • AT&T
      • CenturyLink
      • Cincinnati Bell
      • Comcast
      • Altice USA
  • Digital economy

    • E-entertainment
    • E-health
    • E-government
    • E-education
    • E-commerce
  • Digital media

    • Videostreaming
    • Music streaming
  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband
      • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2020; 2022
    • Regulatory issues
      • Public Safety Network
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Spectrum
      • Spectrum swaps and acquisitions
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Major mobile operators
      • Industry body
      • AT&T
      • Verizon Wireless
      • T-Mobile US
      • Sprint Corporation
      • MVNOs
    • Mobile content and applications
      • Mobile music
      • M-payment
      • M-commerce

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Historic - Internet users and penetration – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 2 – Internet users and penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 4 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 5 – Forecast broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 6 – Fixed broadband subscribers by data rate – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 7 – Fixed broadband population coverage by data rate – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 8 – Top 10 cable MSOs’ subscribers – 2010; 2012 – 2018
  • Table 9 – US cable modem subscribers – 2000 – 2018
  • Table 10 – Historic - Cablevision subscriptions by service – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 11 – Historic - Cablevision financial data – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 12 – Altice USA RGUs by service – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Optimum RGUs by service – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Suddenlink RGUs by service – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Altice USA financial data – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Altice USA revenue by type – 2016 - 2018
  • Table 17 – Suddenlink financial data – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Cablevision financial data – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Comcast financial data – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Comcast revenue by service– 2012 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Comcast subscriptions by service – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Comcast bundled services subscriptions – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Charter Communications financial data – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Charter Communications residential revenue by type – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Broadband subscribers for major telco providers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 29 – AT&T fixed-line operational data – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 30 – AT&T financial data – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 31 – Frontier Communications revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Frontier Communications customers by sector – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 33 – FttP homes passed and connected – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 34 – AT&T wireline operational data – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 35 – CenturyLink financial data – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 36 – CenturyLink subscribers by platform – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 37 – Cincinnati Bell Fioptics revenue – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 38 – Cincinnati Bell Fioptics subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 40 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 41 – Mobile voice traffic – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 42 – Mobile data traffic – 2011 – 2017
  • Table 43 – Mobile data-only devices in use – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 44 – Messaging traffic (SMS, MMS) – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 45 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 46 – LTE mobile broadband coverage broadband subscribers and penetration – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 47 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 48 – Verizon Wireless LTE devices on network– 2011 – 2016
  • Table 49 – M2M connections – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 50 – AT&T Mobility financial data – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 51 – AT&T wireless subscribers – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 52 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 53 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 54 – T-Mobile US wireless subscribers – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 55 – T-Mobile US own-branded subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 56 – T-Mobile US ARPU (€, annualised) – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 57 – T-Mobile US ARPU ($, annualised) – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 58 – T-Mobile US financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 59 – MetroPCS financial data – 2007 – 2012
  • Table 60 – MetroPCS subscribers – 2007 – 2012
  • Table 61 – Sprint wireless financial data – 2009 – 2019
  • Table 62 – Sprint subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 63 – Sprint blended ARPU – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 64 – Online retail sales – 2012 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Comcast revenue by service– 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Comcast subscriptions by service – 2012 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Comcast bundled services subscriptions – 2014 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Verizon wireline (FiOS) operational data – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – AT&T operational data – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – AT&T financial data – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Frontier Communications customers by sector – 2011 – 2018
  • Chart 9 – AT&T wireline operational data – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2019
  • Chart 11 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 12 – AT&T Mobility financial data – 2004 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Verizon wireless financial data by sector– 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 14 – Verizon wireless subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – T-Mobile US subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – T-Mobile US financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – Sprint financial data – 2009 – 2019

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – AWS spectrum auction – January 2015

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