[Close]  
Market research logo; 24 years of Excellence in Market Research since 1988.

Need advice? Keen to get the best deal? Call now on +44 (0)1494 771734

>

United States Telecommunications Report Q4 2010

United States Telecommunications Report Q4 2010

Table of Contents

Management Report
Published: October 2010
Pages: For full details, please email keithw@cmsinfo.com
Tables: For full details, please email keithw@cmsinfo.com
From: GBP 331.25  Buy Now!
Research from: Business Monitor International
Sector: Networks & Infrastructure

As in previous quarters, some operators made minor revisions to their historical data, which we at BMIhave incorporated into our forecasts, along with recently released data from Q210. Our forecasts formobile data have been modified slightly upwards following strong US mobile subscription additions forthe first half of the year, while the number of fixed lines is decreasing at a slightly quicker rate thananticipated. Broadband usage forecasts have been adjusted slightly downwards. In all cases, theadjustments have been fairly small. Recent developments have re-emphasised the importance of dataservices to mobile operators, with particular interest in the next generation in network technology. As in previous quarters, some operators made minor revisions to their historical data, which we at BMIhave incorporated into our forecasts, along with recently released data from Q210. Our forecasts formobile data have been modified slightly upwards following strong US mobile subscription additions forthe first half of the year, while the number of fixed lines is decreasing at a slightly quicker rate thananticipated. Broadband usage forecasts have been adjusted slightly downwards. In all cases, theadjustments have been fairly small. Recent developments have re-emphasised the importance of dataservices to mobile operators, with particular interest in the next generation in network technology.

Verizon Wireless intends to reach 100mn Americans with its LTE coverage by the end of 2010,announcing at a recent communications conference that 30 NFL cities (cities with NFL franchises) wouldbe connected to the 4G technology by the end of 2010. AT&T plans on launching its own commercialLTE network by mid-2011, a significant acceleration of its previous launch plans. Meanwhile, bothoperators along with T-Mobile USA, have been enhancing and augmenting their 3G networks withsoftware-based upgrades, meaning that faster data processing and transmission speeds have been rolledout very quickly and with no disruptions to the networks. T-Mobile USA, though, scored something of agoal by touting its HSPA upgrade (to HSPA+) as a 4G offering. Telecoms analysts andsmartphone/mobile computing users were quick to play down those claims. T-Mobile has not commentedpublicly on plans to launch LTE. MetroPCS, a small player in the market, launched its own 4G wirelessnetwork, along with an LTE-enabled handset manufactured by Samsung. The company’s first-moveradvantage in its LTE network, LTE handset, and competitive pricing (voice, text, and mobile internet forUS$55 per month) should not be underestimated. The extent to which the company’s size will constrainits potential, however, remains to be seen.

Sprint Nextel was able to reverse a long-term trend of losing subscribers with significant increases inwholesale and prepaid customers, due to newly acquired MVNO Virgin Mobile and Common CentsMobile, a flat-rate prepaid service available in about 700 Walmart stores. Higher-ARPU postpaidsubscribers continue to decline. However, the postpaid quarterly churn rate was below 2% for the firsttime in five years. Sprint remains committed to its WiMAX-based 4G network, which has expanded tomore markets. Sprint’s handsets have been popular, scoring a surprise hit with its EVO WiMAX handset,even against the backdrop of Apple/AT&T’s unveiling of a fourth generation iPhone. More recently,Sprint's dual 3G/4G phone, the Samsung Epic 4G, were launched in early September with one of the bestfirst-day sales of any Sprint device.

Sprint’s WiMAX partner, Clearwire, intimated that it would be interested in migrating to LTE once itsexclusivity with WiMAX developer Intel comes to an end. Were Sprint to replace its WiMAX plant withLTE, this could be a costly move; instead, it is possible that a Sprint/Clearwire LTE platform wouldoperate alongside WiMAX. Nevertheless, the WiMAX business posted a strong 94% y-o-y increase incustomers in Q110.

Broadband take-up continues to grow robustly, although our forecasts have been reined in slightly. Thegrowth has been led by the larger fixed-line telecoms operators and the multiservice cable operators.There were 77.9mn broadband subscribers by the end of 2009, a figure that grew to more than 79.5mn byJune 2010. AT&T and Comcast continue battling to lead the market, and Comcast overtook AT&T inQ309. The gap has consistently widened in the nine months that have followed. We now expect there willbe 98.0mn total broadband subscribers in the US by 2014, with a penetration rate of more than 30%.

Top of Page