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Description

Description

Covered in this report

The mobile network industry is worth nearly one quarter of a trillion dollars in the US today, and will continue to grow in the near term. Consumers need wireless service to use their smartphones as well as other mobile connected devices. It is an extremely competitive industry; though the “Big 4” carriers – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint – account for around three quarters of the market. The market will become even more consolidated when T-Mobile and Sprint merge to become a single network provider. There are a number of smaller networks providing service, but none have more than 4% market share of subscribers. It is a top-heavy industry dominated by the bigger players in the space.

"The US mobile telecommunications market is valued at nearly $250 billion, and the industry is expected to undergo rapid changes in the next couple of years due to advancements in network speeds and innovation. The implementation of 5G networks and connections will play a big role in consumer decision making in the category. Pricing remains a top factor for consideration, but given the importance of smartphones in consumer lives today, coverage, data speeds and plans are also extremely important."

- Buddy Lo, Senior Technology Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Mobile network landscape
  • Type of mobile network plans
  • Interest and triggers to change mobile network plans
  • Customer satisfaction with their networks
  • Attitudes toward mobile network plans

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • What you need to know about mobile network providers
            • The issues
              • Family plan participation is around 60%
                • Figure 1: Type of network plan, by gender and age, January 2020
              • Wireless customers wary when it comes to how their data is delivered
                • Figure 2: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – Data plans and speed, January 2020
              • The opportunities
                • 5G connections could spur new consumer spending in the category
                  • Figure 3: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – 5G, January 2020
                • Two in five wireless customers considering making a change to their wireless plans
                  • Figure 4: Interest in changing mobile network plans, January 2020
                • Key trends
                  • Bundling entertainment streaming will continue
                    • Figure 5: Index of triggers to changing mobile network plans, by generation, January 2020
                  • Telecoms branching out into new services
                    • Figure 6: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – Bundled services, January 2020
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • Steady growth forecast through 2024
                      • Tax reform bolsters equipment spending
                        • 5G awareness continues to grow
                          • Connected devices represent untapped revenue potential
                          • Market Size and Forecast

                            • Consistent growth expected through 2024
                              • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of mobile network spending, with best- and worst-case scenarios, at current prices, 2014-24
                              • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of mobile network providers, at current prices, 2014-24
                          • Market Breakdown

                            • Equipment spending increases dramatically in 2018
                              • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of mobile network providers, by segment, at current prices, 2014-19
                            • Mobile device usage and network subscription nearly ubiquitous
                              • Figure 10: Mobile device ownership and network subscribers, 2014-19
                            • Unlimited data plans continue growth
                              • Figure 11: Mobile network plans, 2013-19
                            • Consumer spending on mobile service remains consistent
                              • Figure 12: Mobile network monthly spend, 2013-19
                          • Market Factors

                            • 5G awareness and knowledge is improving
                              • Figure 13: 5G awareness and knowledge, January 2019, August 2019, January 2020
                              • Figure 14: Verizon 5G mobile banner advertisement, February 2020
                              • Figure 15: T-Mobile 5G mobile banner advertisement, January 2020
                            • Bundling wireless and home internet will likely continue to grow
                            • Market Perspective

                              • Connected devices with dedicated data connections
                                • Figure 16: Smartwatch behaviors, November 2019
                                • Figure 17: T-Mobile upgrade email, January 2020
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Sprint and T-Mobile merger gets green light, is nearing finalization
                                • 5G gets major exposure from top network campaigns
                                  • T-Mobile continues momentum and growth
                                    • Sprint struggles to compete against the rest of the “Big 4”
                                    • Breakdown of Mobile Network Providers

                                      • Verizon and AT&T account for more than half of the wireless market
                                        • Figure 18: Mobile network providers – Simmons data, April 2018-June 2019
                                      • T-Mobile, Verizon and “Other” networks show growth
                                        • Figure 19: Mobile network providers – Simmons data, 2012-19
                                    • What’s Working

                                      • T-Mobile subscriber growth continues
                                        • Verizon strengthens its leading position in the market
                                        • What’s Struggling

                                          • Sprint can’t seem to meet customer expectations
                                          • What to Watch

                                            • T-Mobile and Sprint merger reaching final stages of approval
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Majority of consumers have unlimited data plans
                                                • Family plans are the most common plans in the market
                                                  • Verizon leads the industry with the highest market share
                                                    • T-Mobile outperforms among young and multicultural
                                                      • T-Mobile leads the “Big 4” in customer satisfaction
                                                        • Customer service, price and coverage are top factors driving customer satisfaction
                                                          • Four in 10 considering a change to their wireless plans
                                                            • Bundling streaming services could attract Gen Z subscribers
                                                              • 5G connectivity will have a significant impact on consumer decisions
                                                                • 5G early adopter consumer segment identified
                                                                • Consumer Mobile Network Plans

                                                                  • Two thirds of consumers have post-paid subscription plans
                                                                    • Figure 20: Breakdown of post-paid and pre-paid wireless plans, January 2020
                                                                  • Family plans account for six in 10 network subscribers
                                                                      • Figure 21: Type of network plan, January 2019
                                                                    • Women are more likely than men to be participants on a family plan
                                                                      • Figure 22: Type of network plan, by gender and marital status, January 2020
                                                                      • Figure 23: Type of network plan, by gender and age, January 2020
                                                                      • Figure 24: Type of network plan among 18-34 year olds, by gender and marital status, January 2020
                                                                    • Majority of subscribers have unlimited data plans
                                                                        • Figure 25: Mobile network data plans, January 2019
                                                                      • Pre-paid plans skew toward single line holders
                                                                          • Figure 26: Breakdown of pre- and post-paid network plans, by type of network plans, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 27: Type of network plan, by pre- and post-paid subscribers, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 28: Breakdown of pre- and post-paid subscribers, by household income, January 2020
                                                                      • Mobile Network Providers

                                                                        • Verizon is top carrier followed by AT&T
                                                                          • Figure 29: Mobile network providers, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 30: Mobile network providers – breakout, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile outperforms among multicultural and young
                                                                          • Figure 31: Age breakdown, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 32: Breakdown of race and Hispanic origin, by mobile network providers, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 33: T-Mobile Tuesdays promotional email – Dark Phoenix, June 2019
                                                                        • Alternative carriers predominantly have single-line subscribers
                                                                          • Figure 34: Type of network plan, by mobile network providers, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 35: Mobile network providers, index of age and household income to all, January 2020
                                                                        • Verizon and AT&T subscribers have highest household incomes
                                                                          • Figure 36: Breakdown of household income, by mobile network providers, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile customers primarily in urban and suburban areas
                                                                          • Figure 37: Breakdown of area, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers go for unlimited plans
                                                                          • Figure 38: Breakdown of data plan types, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                      • Mobile Network Satisfaction

                                                                        • Subscribers are most satisfied with coverage and phone selection
                                                                          • Figure 39: Overall mobile network satisfaction, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 40: Mobile network satisfaction, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile leads the major providers in overall customer satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 41: Overall satisfaction with mobile network service provider, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 42: Satisfaction with customer service, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 43: Satisfaction with price, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                        • Key Driver Analysis – Overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 44: Key drivers of overall satisfaction with mobile service provider – Correlation coefficients (R values), January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 45: Key drivers of satisfaction with mobile service provider – Chart, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 46: Key drivers of overall satisfaction with mobile service provider, by mobile service provider, January 2020
                                                                        • AT&T: Key Driver Analysis of overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 47: Key drivers of satisfaction with AT&T, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 48: AT&T promotional email, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 49: AT&T Samsung Note10 +5G animated promotional banner ad, February 2020
                                                                          • Figure 50: AT&T iPhone promotion online banner ad, January 2020
                                                                        • Verizon: Key Driver Analysis of overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 51: Key drivers of satisfaction with Verizon, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile: Key Driver Analysis of overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 52: Key drivers of satisfaction with T-Mobile, January 2020
                                                                        • Sprint: Key Driver Analysis of overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 53: Key drivers of satisfaction with Sprint, January 2020
                                                                        • Other networks: Key Driver Analysis of overall satisfaction
                                                                          • Figure 54: Key drivers of satisfaction with other mobile service providers, January 2020
                                                                      • Interest in Changing Mobile Network Plans

                                                                        • Six in 10 wireless consumers have no interest in changing plans
                                                                          • Figure 55: Interest in changing mobile network plans, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile has lowest customer attrition consideration
                                                                          • Figure 56: Interest in changing mobile network plans, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                        • Parents need to be prioritized for upgrade messaging
                                                                          • Figure 57: Interest in changing mobile network plans, by gender and presence of children in the household, January 2020
                                                                      • Triggers to Changing Mobile Network Plans

                                                                        • Price is king when it comes to inspiring change
                                                                          • Figure 58: Triggers to changing mobile network plans, January 2020
                                                                        • TURF analysis – Streaming services don’t move the needle that much
                                                                          • Figure 59: TURF analysis – Factors in carrier selection, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 60: Table – TURF analysis – Factors in carrier selection, January 2020
                                                                        • Gen Z wants streaming services
                                                                          • Figure 61: Index of triggers to changing mobile network plans, by generation, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 62: Verizon Disney+ promotional email, February 2020
                                                                          • Figure 63: T-Mobile Magenta Plus promotional email, August 2019
                                                                        • Parents could be convinced to replace cable with wireless internet
                                                                          • Figure 64: Triggers to changing mobile network plans, by gender and presence of children under 18 in the household, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 65: Index of triggers to changing mobile network plans, by gender and presence of children under 18 in the household, January 2020
                                                                        • Sprint subscribers most likely to cite various factors as catalyst for change
                                                                          • Figure 66: Index of triggers to changing mobile network plans, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                      • Attitudes toward Mobile Network Plans

                                                                        • 5G has a growing influence on mobile network decisions
                                                                          • Figure 67: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – 5G, January 2020
                                                                        • Concerns over throttling and caps are common
                                                                          • Figure 68: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – Data plans and speed, January 2020
                                                                        • Consumers are open to creative ways to save money
                                                                          • Figure 69: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – Family plans and bundled services, January 2020
                                                                          • Figure 70: T-Mobile Home Internet direct mail, December 2019
                                                                        • Younger men most willing to get separate data plans for alternative devices
                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – Device dedicated data plans, by gender and age, January 2020
                                                                        • T-Mobile consumers looking forward to the impact of 5G
                                                                          • Figure 72: Attitudes toward mobile network plans – 5G and devices, by mobile network provider, January 2020
                                                                      • Consumer Segmentation – Attitudes toward Mobile Network Plans

                                                                            • Figure 73: Mobile network subscriber segments, January 2020
                                                                          • 5G Acolytes (27%)
                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                • Figure 74: Profile of 5G Acolytes, January 2020
                                                                                • Figure 75: Attitudes toward mobile network plans, by consumer segments, January 2020
                                                                              • Opportunities
                                                                                • Demanding Subscribers (29%)
                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                    • Figure 76: Profile of Demanding Subscribers, January 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 77: Overall satisfaction with mobile network service, by consumer segments, January 2020
                                                                                  • Opportunities
                                                                                    • Figure 78: Type of network plan, by consumer segments, January 2020
                                                                                  • Late Adopters (25%)
                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                      • Figure 79: Profile of Late Adopters, January 2020
                                                                                    • Opportunities
                                                                                      • Figure 80: Triggers to changing mobile network plans, by consumer segments, January 2020
                                                                                    • 5G Considerers (19%)
                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                          • Figure 81: Profile of 5G Considerers, January 2020
                                                                                        • Opportunities
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                        • Terms
                                                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network spending, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2014-24
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                            • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Level of satisfaction with mobile service providers – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Level of satisfaction with AT&T – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Level of satisfaction with Verizon – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Level of satisfaction with T-Mobile – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Level of satisfaction with Sprint – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Level of satisfaction with Other mobile service providers – Key driver output, January 2020
                                                                                                            • TURF methodology

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