T-Mobile US Gains Phone Accounts, AT&T Gains Connected Car Accounts

The near term trend at the top of the U.S. mobile business is that T-Mobile US is taking market share from the other three big providers. Just how much, from which carriers, is a matter of some uncertainty.

Another trend is that AT&T and Verizon are focusing more attention on future markets such as Internet of Things and connected car, for example. In the most recent quarter, AT&T, for example, added many more connected car accounts than phone accounts.

In fact, half of AT&T's net adds were connected car subscriptions.

T-Mobile US, in its most recent quarter, added 760,000 branded postpaid phone net adds, about 400,000 more net adds than Verizon added.

And T-Mobile US says it topped AT&T in terms of postpaid phone net adds by almost 1.1 million in the quarter. Overall, T-Mobile US had 2.1 million total net adds in Q2 and one million branded postpaid net adds, while keeping churn down to 1.3 percent.

T-Mobile US says it has had nine quarters in a row where it took customers, on a net basis, in the postpaid area.

For  eight consecutive quarters, T-Mobile US has had a postpaid porting ratio of greater than two to one from Sprint. In other words, T-Mobile US has gained twice as many subscribers from Sprint as it lost to Sprint.

All that said, the U.S. mobile market remains unstable. Beyond what T-Mobile US might be doing in terms of market share, gaining on the other three providers, new contenders will be entering, at some point. Comcast, Dish Network and Google are among the contenders.

Nobody knows what eventually could happen to market structure, should all three, or even others in addition to those three, enter the market. The market undoubtedly cannot support seven leading operators, each with 30 percent share.

And some would argue a sustainable position in the U.S. market would require something on the order of 30 percent share.
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