2023
9
US Mobile Network Providers Market Report 2023
2023-04-22T04:04:09+01:00
OX1157859
3695
162725
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“With smartphones in virtually every pocket, amping up growth can be challenging in the mobile space. Yet the seemingly static sector still has lots of opportunities for individual players to…

US Mobile Network Providers Market Report 2023

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Description

This report provides a comprehensive analysis and breakdown of the US cell phone carrier market. Mintel covers mobile network consumer trends and statistics with an eye on attitudes and behaviour toward cell phone carriers, market size and share with expert review, and much more.

Below, we summarise the key topics covered in the report and offer handpicked insights.

Key Topics Covered in This Report

  • Growth drivers for mobile services and hardware, including economic and technology trends.
  • An assessment of the three major players, including revenue, market share, and recent strategic moves, as well as a discussion of smaller challengers.
  • The impact of 5G implementation on the sector, and the future potential it could bring through fixed wireless broadband and other services.
  • Consumer behaviour and attitudes around their mobile service, including satisfaction levels with their provider as well as what might drive them to switch. 

US Cell Phone Carrier Market Overview

Mobile network providers are in many respects a utility, and consumers rely on them during tough times, making the market resilient. Yet, growth opportunities remain limited due to near-universal penetration (95%) and a lack of differentiation. Meanwhile, recent hardware advances have been evolutionary, making it easier for consumers to keep their phones longer and providing plenty of affordable options for replacements (see our Smartphones Market Report for more insight).

US wireless carrier market share: Verizon remains the largest cell phone carrier in revenue and subscribers, leading ahead of the other two major players, AT&T and T-Mobile. A full expert analysis of the leading carriers including market share is available in this report.

Mobile Network Consumer Trends and Statistics

Churn may be accelerating

70% of customers have been with their carrier for a minimum of three years, yet the share of those who have been around for five or more is decreasing. Notably, Verizon is losing long-term customers at a faster rate than other carriers, despite the fact their more mature audience typically show greater loyalty.

Speed, streaming, and lower cost could drive switching

Half of subscribers are ready to consider switching for better data coverage, while 42% would consider switching to get a streaming service (see our Streaming Video Market Report). Comparatively, cost is less important to consumers, but is still a factor as a third would consider switching for a lower price. In the next section, we discuss the potential of streaming services in cell phone carrier plans.

Market Opportunities for Cell Phone Carriers

Major carriers offer deals for streaming bundles: Verizon (Disney+/Hulu+/ESPN), T-Mobile (Netflix) & AT&T customers seeking the right deal. Almost two-thirds of men aged 18-34 and over half of parents with children at home seek savings & convenience, making the streaming arena a key differentiator for carriers.

Covering leading players AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile in detail, MVNOs, and acquisitions/mergers (e.g. T-Mobile/Mint), this report offers a complete overview of the cell phone carrier market and opportunities to capitalise on. Buy this report for over 70 pages of market and consumer trends and insights and stay ahead of the competition. Looking for something else in the mobile category? Browse our technology and telecoms market research.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis from a Telecoms Specialist

This report, written by Fiona O’Donnell, a leading telecoms analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the mobile network providers market and add expert context to the numbers.

With smartphones in virtually every pocket, amping up growth can be challenging in the mobile space. Yet the seemingly static sector still has lots of opportunities for individual players to succeed – or fail. Stealing customers from the competition may be a sufficiently winning strategy for many companies, while developing new business in fixed-wireless broadband and alternate devices could unlock new possibilities.

Fiona O'Donnell, Director - US Reports

 

Fiona O’Donnell
Senior Director – US Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top Takeaways
    • Consumer trends
    • MVNOs, T-Mobile gain share
    • Growth seen in prepaid
    • A family affair
    • Churn increases slightly
    • Overall satisfaction remains high – but in slight decline
    • Competitive strategies and market opportunities
    • Quality matters more than cost, but price increasingly drives satisfaction
    • Younger consumers, men more open to change
      • Figure 1: Triggers for switching providers, by gender and age, 2023
    • Entertainment could be the answer
      • Figure 2: Would consider switching for bundled streaming service, by key demographics, 2023
    • Growth in fixed wireless
      • Figure 3: Preference to bundle wireless and home internet, by key demographics, 2023
    • Market predictions
      • Figure 4: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of mobile network providers, at current prices, 2017-27
    • Opportunities for evolution if not revolution
      • Figure 5: Outlook for mobile network providers, 2023-28
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Slow but steady growth expected
      • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of mobile network providers, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network providers, at current prices, 2017-27
  4. Segment Performance

    • Services maintain lion’s share of the market, greater growth in equipment
      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network providers, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network providers, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
    • New offerings will be critical for services growth
    • 5G investment necessary to compete
      • Figure 10: 5G digital marketing spend, 2022
    • Fixed wireless makes gains
    • Bundles could provide a boost
      • Figure 11: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of mobile network provider services, 2017-27
    • Hardware needs a “must-have” innovation
      • Figure 12: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of mobile network provider equipment, 2017-27
  5. Market Drivers

    • Inflationary pressures may impact mobile
      • Figure 13: Consumer Price Index and wireless telephone services change from previous period, 2013-23
      • Figure 14: Average annual per household spending on mobile network providers, 2017-22
    • Consumers engage more with phones than ever
      • Figure 15: Smartphone activities in the past three months, 2019-22
    • Looking beyond phones?
      • Figure 16: Wearable tech owned and synced with smartphone, 2022
  6. Market Share and Key Players

    • Changes occur beneath the surface
      • Figure 17: Wireless service revenues, by company, 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 18: Wireless lines, by company, 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 19: Plan type, by company, 2022
    • Is Mint worth a mint?
      • Figure 20: T-Mobile Announces the Un-carrier’s Acquisition of Mint and Ultra Mobile, 2023
    • Bigger may be better
    • Fixed wireless – the next frontier?
      • Figure 21: Fixed wireless connections, by company, 2020 and 2021
  7. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Whither 5G?
      • Figure 22: Email volume and read rate for 5G-related subject lines, by quarter, 2022
    • Bringing the bundle back
      • Figure 23: Introducing +play from Verizon | Verizon, 2023
    • T-Mobile pops and locks
      • Figure 24: T-Mobile Price Lock – Acquisition direct mail, 2022
      • Figure 25: Verizon Home Internet direct mail, 2022
    • Looking beyond phones
  8. The Mobile Consumer – Fast Facts

    • Shifts seen in carrier choice
    • Majors target different demos
    • Prepaid plans continue to gain
    • Churn may be accelerating
    • Few consumers on large group plans
    • Satisfaction is strong – but slipping
    • Speed, streaming, lower cost could drive switching
    • Alternate carriers’ subscribers quite happy with their provider
    • Half prefer to bundle mobile and internet
  9. Provider Usage and Customer Profile

    • T-Mobile, smaller carriers experiencing lift
      • Figure 26: Primary mobile network provider, 2020-23
    • Smaller players fight over the rest of the pie
      • Figure 27: Primary mobile network provider, 2023
    • Customer profiles
    • Middle-income families choose AT&T
      • Figure 28: Demographic profile of AT&T customers, 2023
    • T-Mobile’s audience is younger, diverse
      • Figure 29: Demographic profile of T-Mobile customers, 2023
    • Verizon maintains lock on affluent audience
      • Figure 30: Demographic profile of Verizon customers, 2023
    • Less affluent singles explore alternate carriers
      • Figure 31: Demographic profile of Other carrier customers, 2023
  10. Consumer Mobile Network Plan Choice

    • Prepaid continues to gain traction
      • Figure 32: Primary cell phone plan type – Post-paid and pre-paid, 2020-23
    • Female seniors, middle-income consumers, Asians go prepaid
      • Figure 33: Primary cell phone plan type – Post-paid and pre-paid, by key demographics, 2023
    • Slight uptick in single-line plans
      • Figure 34: Type of network plan – Single line vs family plans, 2020-23
    • AT&T, T-Mobile see highest single-line gains
      • Figure 35: Type of network plan – Single line vs family plans, by provider, 2022-23
    • Low-income consumers and younger/older men go it alone
      • Figure 36: Type of network plan – Single-line vs family plans, by key demographics, 2023
    • Unlimited plans reverse some gains
      • Figure 37: Mobile network data plans – Limits, 2020-23
    • T-Mobile subscribers most likely to go unlimited
      • Figure 38: Mobile network data plans – Limits, by provider, 2023
  11. Relationships with Mobile Providers

    • Churn increases slightly
      • Figure 39: Length of relationship with provider, 2020-23
    • Growth leads to shorter tenures at T-Mobile
      • Figure 40: Length of relationship with provider, by provider, 2022-23
    • Tenure increases significantly with age
      • Figure 41: Length of relationship with provider, by age, 2023
  12. Mobile Account Characteristics

    • Majority of subscribers have 1-2 lines in their primary plan
      • Figure 42: Number of lines and spend, by number of lines, 2023
    • All in the family for Verizon
      • Figure 43: Number of lines, by provider, 2023
    • Asians, parents have more lines
      • Figure 44: Number of lines, by key demographics, 2023
    • Significant room to cut costs
      • Figure 45: Monthly spend – Median and average, by number of phone lines, 2023
    • Spend highest at Verizon
      • Figure 46: Monthly spend – Median and average, by provider, 2023
  13. Satisfaction with Mobile Network Providers

    • Noticeable slippage in satisfaction levels
      • Figure 47: Overall mobile provider satisfaction, 2020-23
    • 5G continues to drive satisfaction
      • Figure 48: Overall mobile provider satisfaction, by 5G plan usage, 2023
    • T-Mobile succeeds despite satisfaction gap
      • Figure 49: Overall mobile network satisfaction, by provider, 2020-23
    • Men, parents happier with providers
      • Figure 50: Overall mobile provider satisfaction – Any satisfied, by key demographics, 2023
    • Consistently high satisfaction across a range of factors
      • Figure 51: Factors driving provider satisfaction, 2020-23
    • Customer service, data speeds, coverage, price key drivers of satisfaction
      • Figure 52: Key drivers of overall satisfaction and satisfaction with specific factors, by provider, 2022
  14. Provider Switching Considerations

    • Consumers open to switching
      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward mobile network providers – Switching, 2023
    • Real potential risk to AT&T
      • Figure 54: Attitudes toward mobile network providers – Switching, by provider, 2023
    • Cost most prominent trigger for switching
      • Figure 55: Triggers for switching providers, by length of relationship with provider, 2023
    • Cost cutters choose alternate carriers
      • Figure 56: Triggers for switching providers, by provider, 2023
    • Senior men more open to change
      • Figure 57: Triggers for switching providers, by gender and age, 2023
  15. Attitudes toward Mobile Network Providers

    • Comparatively high satisfaction with alternate carriers
      • Figure 58: Attitudes toward mobile network providers, by provider, 2023
    • AT&T customers open to alternatives
      • Figure 59: Attitudes toward plan and provider awareness, by provider, 2023
    • Alternate carriers comfortable with quality
      • Figure 60: Attitudes toward provider differentiation, by provider, 2023
    • Parents an important and demanding audience
      • Figure 61: Attitudes toward mobile network providers, by parental status, 2023
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  17. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 62: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network providers, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 63: Total US sales of mobile network providers, by segment, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 64: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network provider services, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 65: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network provider services, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 66: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network provider equipment, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 67: Total US sales and forecast of mobile network provider equipment, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
  18. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 68: Satisfaction with factors related to mobile service, 2023
      • Figure 69: Satisfaction with factors related to mobile service, by provider, 2023
      • Figure 70: Attitudes toward mobile network providers, 2023
      • Figure 71: Attitudes toward awareness of plans and providers, 2023
      • Figure 72: Attitudes toward provider differences, 2023
  19. Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

    • Mobile Network Satisfaction in 2023
      • Figure 73: Key drivers of mobile network satisfaction, 2023
      • Figure 74: Key drivers of satisfaction with mobile network providers, 2023
      • Figure 75: Key drivers of satisfaction with AT&T, 2023
      • Figure 76: Key drivers of satisfaction with T-Mobile, 2023
      • Figure 77: Key drivers of satisfaction with Verizon, 2023
    • Methodology
    • Interpretation of results
      • Figure 78: Level of satisfaction with primary mobile network provider – key driver output, 2023
      • Figure 79: Level of satisfaction with AT&T mobile network – key driver output, 2023
      • Figure 80: Level of satisfaction with Verizon mobile network – key driver output, 2023
      • Figure 81: Level of satisfaction with T-Mobile mobile network – key driver output, 2023
    • Mobile Network Satisfaction in 2022
      • Figure 82: Level of satisfaction with overall satisfaction – Key driver output, 2022
      • Figure 83: Key drivers of overall satisfaction, 2022

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