US Mobile Market Update – Q2 2021

Summary of US Mobile Market Q2 2021

The first half has been exceptional for the US wireless industry. It generated the highest revenue during the six-month period in the history of the industry and is well positioned to have a banner year in 2021. Q2 was also industry’s best performing second quarter in history. The competitive intensity around 5G has increased and the usage is going up as well.

Industry revenue grew YoY and churn stayed at record low levels. T-Mobile again dominated postpaid net-adds. Cable companies are making measurable impact on postpaid vs. AT&T and Verizon. They have left US Cellular in rear view mirror in revenue and have set their sights on Dish to become the dominant tier-2 block.

Industry had the 3rd best net-add quarter in history. Connected devices again dominated the net-adds on the back of surge from AT&T which had its third 5M+ quarter in the last four.

For the first time in recorded history, AT&T surpassed T-Mobile in postpaid phone net-adds. Dish has lost roughly 10% of its acquired customer base from T-Mobile in the last year.

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 is starting to match China in percentage penetration and has exceeded South Korea in number of subs. US has also outpaced China in 5G revenue. 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 Q2, as expected, Korea’s 5G data traffic (53%) exceeded its 4G traffic. User consumption is typically 2.5-3x whereas in the US it is relatively lower.

Topics covered in the research update.

  • Q2 2021 US Mobile Market Highlights
  • 5G Revenue and ARPU
  • Fixed wireless – Dawn of a new era?
  • US wireless market competition in 2021
  • US wireless market: Tier-2 Competition
  • Scenarios that could unfold in US-China Tech Competition
  • 5G: Separating signal from the noise
  • Private Networks Opportunity
  • OpenRAN and the future of Infrastructure in the US
  • Global 5G Race Update
  • Quantum Leaps: Acceleration of Connected Intelligence
  • What to Expect in the Coming Months?
  • US Wireless Market Q2 2021 Analysis
    • Service Revenues
    • ARPU
    • Subscribers
    • Competition
    • 5G Progress
    • 4th Wave Progress
    • Connected Devices
    • Handsets

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