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Mobile Network Providers - US - May 2018

Wireless service marketing is challenging given that penetration is virtually universal and that the majority of subscribers are not interested in changing service. With limited opportunities for adding new subscribers and difficulty in poaching existing ones, focusing on increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) through new features is likely to be a chief thrust for the industry looking forward.

This report looks at the following issues:

  • No easy way out of mass advertising across traditional and digital
  • Prepaid places lid on pricing
  • Churn rates dauntingly low

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • No easy way out of mass advertising across traditional and digital
              • Figure 1: Role in service selection, March 2018
            • Prepaid places lid on pricing
              • Figure 2: Impression of prepaid services, March 2018
            • Churn rates dauntingly low
              • Figure 3: Postpaid churn rates, most recently reported financial quarter, April 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Additional services, devices, boosting revenue
                • Figure 4: Features subscribers would like to add, March 2018
              • Basic elements of service helping to create loyalty
                • Figure 5: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carrier, March 2018
              • Promotions propel acquisitions
                • Figure 6: Interest in changing carriers and circumstances under which changing would be motivated, March 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Sales survive difficult conditions
                  • No growth in service sales 2015-17
                    • Vast majority participate in selection
                    • Market Size

                      • Adverse conditions stall sales 2014-17
                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2012-18
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Service sales stall
                          • Equipment revenue sees substantial growth
                            • Figure 8: Wireless service sales vs equipment sales, 2015-17
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Everyone is involved
                            • Figure 9: Role in service selection, March 2018
                          • No taint on prepaid
                            • Figure 10: Impression of prepaid and smaller carriers, March 2018
                        • Market Factors

                          • Lower prices far and away leading reason to change carrier
                            • Figure 11: Objectives in changing carrier, by carrier (AT&T/Verizon), March 2018
                            • Figure 12: Objectives in changing carrier, by carrier (other brands), March 2018
                          • Growth via acquisitions tough
                            • Figure 13: Postpaid churn rates for most recently reported financial quarter, April 2018
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Four networks carry 88% of subscribers
                            • Vanishing brand distinctions advantageous to smaller services
                              • Merger, 5G create room for new second tier
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Dominance tied to handsets
                                  • Figure 14: Subscriptions by provider (with subsidiaries included in parent share), March 2018
                                • Campaigns lead perception
                                  • Figure 15: Perception of Verizon and AT&T among subscribers uninterested in changing carriers (AT&T/Verizon), March 2018
                                  • Figure 16: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carriers, by carrier, excluding AT&T/Verizon, March 2018
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Current strugglers likely to see gains from merger
                                  • Figure 17: Subscriptions by brand, March 2018
                              • What’s Next?

                                • 5G coming to a hotspot near you
                                  • Competition with home internet service providers
                                    • T-Mobile and Sprint to merge
                                      • Additional devices retain potential
                                        • Figure 18: Features subscribers would like to add, March 2018
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Promotions, reviews critical to success
                                        • Customer service and reputation matter
                                          • Few planning to switch, but many open to it
                                            • Younger and lower-income demographics more inclined to switch
                                              • Eight in 10 cite price as reason to switch
                                              • Influences on Carrier Selection

                                                • Personal experience tops marketing
                                                  • Figure 19: Influences on carrier selection, March 2018
                                                • Duopoly reliant on personal experience
                                                  • Figure 20: Influences on carrier selection, by carrier (AT&T/Verizon), March 2018
                                                  • Figure 21: Influences on carrier selection, by carrier (other carriers), March 2018
                                                • Urbanites more likely to have considered marketing
                                                  • Figure 22: Influences on carrier selection, by area of residence, March 2018
                                                • Marketing carries less weight among highest-income group
                                                  • Figure 23: Influences on carrier selection, by household income, March 2018
                                              • How Loyal Subscribers Perceive their Carrier

                                                • Basics fulfilled for those uninterested in change
                                                  • Figure 24: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carrier, March 2018
                                                • Hispanics focus on price, customer service
                                                  • Figure 25: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carrier, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2018
                                                • With investment, shifts possible in rural and suburban areas
                                                  • Figure 26: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carriers, by area of location, March 2018
                                                • Older ages value customer service
                                                  • Figure 27: Perception of provider among subscribers uninterested in changing carriers, by gender and age, March 2018
                                              • Interest in Changing Carrier

                                                • Nearly half of subscribers open to change
                                                    • Figure 28: Interest in changing carriers and circumstances under which changing would be motivated, March 2018
                                                  • Interest in change lower at smaller services
                                                      • Figure 29: Interest in changing carriers, by current carrier, March 2018
                                                    • Top target by income: $75K-99.9K
                                                      • Figure 30: Interest in changing carriers, by household income, March 2018
                                                    • Older ages staying put
                                                      • Figure 31: Interest in changing carriers, by age, March 2018
                                                    • Urbanites more likely to move
                                                      • Figure 32: Interest in changing carriers, by area of residence, March 2018
                                                    • Improved rewards can aid acquisitions
                                                      • Figure 33: Interest in changing service, CHAID tree output, March 2018
                                                  • Reasons to Switch

                                                    • Price, data, and speed
                                                      • Figure 34: Objectives in changing carrier, March 2018
                                                    • Younger ages less concerned with price
                                                      • Figure 35: Objectives in changing carrier, by age, March 2018
                                                    • Lower-income groups less concerned with price
                                                      • Figure 36: Objectives in changing carrier, by household income, March 2018
                                                    • Dads motivated by speed, phones, features
                                                      • Figure 37: Objectives in changing carrier, by parental status, March 2018
                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                    • Data sources
                                                      • Sales data
                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                          • CHAID analysis methodology
                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                • Terms
                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                    • Figure 38: Total US sales and forecast of market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-18
                                                                • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                  • CHAID tree output
                                                                    • Figure 39: Interest in changing service, CHAID tree output, March 2018

                                                                Mobile Network Providers - US - May 2018

                                                                US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)