US Mobile Market Update – Q1 2022

Summary of US Mobile Market Q1 2022

The US wireless industry started 2022 where it left off in 2021. After a year filled with historical firsts, Q1 again produced the best service and postpaid revenue quarter for the industry. It was also the best Q1 in history.

Q1 was the second straight $250 billion+ quarter. 5G battles intensified and some slowing down might be ahead.

Industry revenue grew YoY and churn stayed at record low levels. T-Mobile and AT&T again dominated postpaid net-adds. Cable companies are making measurable impact on postpaid.

Dish lost its number four spot to the cable companies and Fixed wireless continued to create new revenue category for the industry. The mobile operators beat the cable companies in the broadband net-adds for the first time by accounting for at least 52% of the broadband net-adds. In fact, T-Mobile was the top broadband net-adds operator accounting for the second straight quarter and is doubling down on the opportunity.

Verizon’s Tracfone acquisition has made it the leading prepaid player in the market.

For the fourth straight quarter, AT&T led the industry in adding new postpaid phone subs.

There was consequential movement in adjacent areas as we had predicted – fixed wireless, MEC, private networks, and new applications and services. T-Mobile is using its spectrum advantage to go after the low-hanging fruit of fixed wireless in certain markets while Verizon made investments in the MEC and private networks space. AT&T also continues to invest in the enterprise segment.

US picked up pace on the 5G front and kept its lead with China in percentage penetration. US has also outpaced China in 5G revenue by a significant margin. So, the “5G race” is in the eye of beholder, depending on the dimension of comparison, you can find a different winner.

In terms of actual usage, Korea by far exceeds China and US in 5G mobile data traffic. In Q1, Korea’s 5G data traffic (67%) exceeded its 4G traffic. User consumption is typically 2.5-3x whereas in the US bulk of the traffic is still on 4G networks (except for T-Mobile).

Topics covered in the research update.

  • Q1 2022 US Mobile Market Highlights
  • Follow-up act to the biggest year in the history of the industry
  • Signs of 5G Impact on ARPU and Revenues
  • Fixed wireless – star of the show?
  • Cable operators surpass Dish to become number 4
  • Does data traffic help us read the tea leaves?
  • Will Metaverse matter?
  • US wireless market competition in 2022
  • US wireless market: Tier-2 Competition
  • The inevitability of “Rule of 3” and the decade long slow march towards convergence
  • 5G and 4th Wave
  • Private Networks Opportunity
  • Global 5G Race Update
  • Quantumverse: Postcards from the Future
  • What to Expect in the Coming Months?
  • US Wireless Market Q1 2022 Analysis
    • Service Revenues
    • ARPU
    • Subscribers
    • Competition
    • 5G Progress
    • Fixed Wireless Progress
    • 4th Wave Progress
    • Connected Devices
    • Handsets

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