As the US smartphone market continues to saturate, the competition between Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T will only intensify.
The top US carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint — are in a race to the bottom as they battle over customers, with all four now offering unlimited data plans.
As the US smartphone market continues to approach saturation, this competition will only intensify, and the ability to both retain users and attract those on rival networks will become increasingly important.
Here’s how the top US telecoms performed in Q2 2017:
The US telecom industry is still reeling from the effects of T-Mobile’s disruptive “Uncarrier” offerings. After the company radically scrapped two-year contracts in 2014, it began offering highly appealing unlimited data packages, which other operators were forced to copy. In February, Verizon reintroduced an unlimited data plan for the first time in more than five years to combat the competition. And Sprint said in June it would offer free unlimited data, talk, and text for a year to consumers who bring their own devices, in a promotion aimed at Verizon subscribers.
In an effort to cushion the “T-Mobile effect,” some carriers are shifting focus to new growth drivers — like the Internet of Things (IoT) and video delivery. Both Verizon and AT&T are building out LTE Cat-M1 networks across the globe, which would be useful for a set of IoT use cases. Verizon’s efforts to deploy a 5G wireless network rollout could also help support various IoT applications that rely on massive amounts of data.
Meanwhile, AT&T is focused on leveraging video delivery services like its DirecTV Now streaming offering to lure subscribers, while Sprint is expanding its IoT footprint, as well as seeking out potential mergers with cable giants to expand its offerings. These moves are exposing businesses to new opportunities to leverage the carriers’ broad and pervasive consumer reach, and may help increase brand engagement.
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