US Mobile Market Update – Q2 2022

5G Industry Transition – We have worked on every single G transition and as we move into the 5G cycle, we continue to stay heavily engaged with players across the ecosystem and around the globe from very advanced markets to just emerging. Chetan Sharma Consulting is involved in several 5G strategic projects across three continents, across the value chain, so, have a front row seat into what’s coming. We have penned 17 research papers on 5G already – most in-depth in the industry, many of them industry firsts, and have several in the works for the coming months based on what we are learning from our work on the ground.

Summary of US Mobile Market Q2 2022

The first half of 2022 continued the streak of historical firsts from 2021. Q2 produced the highest ever postpaid service revenue second quarter. AT&T added more connections than any other operator in any quarter in history. Despite the troublesome signs of economic downturn, the first half proved to be resilient.

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 as well.  For the fifth straight quarter, AT&T led the industry in adding new postpaid phone subs. T-Mobile continues to lead in postpaid net

Comcast started offering Internet service in 1996 and Charter followed up in 1997. In over a quarter century of offering the broadband service, the two have never lost customers (net) in a quarter. Until Now. Q2 marked an ominous quarter for the broadband providers where they not only failed to add any broadband customers, but their mobile brethren usurped them by leaps and bounds. Granted Q2 is historically the slowest quarter for net-adds due to students disconnecting after the year is over and there were some disconnects due to the discontinuation of Emergency Broadband Benefit program, going negative for the quarter could mark the end of the era.

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 second straight time by accounting for 104% of the broadband net-adds. In fact, T-Mobile was the top broadband net-adds operator accounting for the third straight quarter and is doubling down on the opportunity. Dish continues to hemorrhage customers now losing 18% of its base since the Boost acquisition. It did meet the FCC deadline but that didn’t change its fortunes.

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 Q2, Korea’s 5G data traffic (70%) exceeded its 4G traffic (from 33% sub 5G base). 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.

  • Q2 2022 US Mobile Market Highlights
  • T-Mobile’s march towards #1
  • Convergence: Broadband vs. Mobile
  • 5G and 4th Wave
  • US wireless market competition in 2022
  • US wireless market: Tier-2 Competition
  • Signs of 5G Impact on ARPU, Revenues, and Price Wars
  • Will Metaverse matter?
  • Private Networks Opportunity
  • Global 5G Race Update
  • Quantumverse: Postcards from the Future
  • What to Expect in the Coming Months?
  • US Wireless Market Q2 2022 Analysis
    • Service Revenues
    • ARPU
    • Subscribers
    • Competition
    • 5G Progress
    • Fixed Wireless Progress
    • 4th Wave Progress
    • Connected Devices
    • Handsets

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