US Mobile Market Update – Q3 2023

Summary of US Mobile Market Q3 2023

After the best year in history, 2023 had a tough act to follow. One of the big questions in front of the industry was – will the growth taper off and what will be the implications?

After the slowdown in Q1, Q2 and Q3 revenue inched up and stayed above the $50B mark for the 6th straight quarter. We are likely to see another record-breaking year after the books close for Q4.

Net-adds were largely flat for the quarter.

China Mobile maintained its valuation pole position followed by Comcast and T-Mobile.

AT&T had its 7th straight 5M+ net-adds quarter with Connected devices contributing to the bulk of its growth. T-Mobile added more postpaid net-adds than AT&T and Verizon combined. T-Mobile also dominated postpaid phone net-adds.

For the first time, T-Mobile became the leader in prepaid and has a healthy ARPU

Fixed wireless continues to be the bright star for 5G in the US. With almost 7M subs, the mobile operators are adding 90% of the broadband subs in the US. We are likely to see domination continue in the current quarter. T-Mobile again added more broadband customers than the rest of the major players combined.

For the third straight quarter, Charter went past Comcast in total mobile subs with cable providers total reaching almost 13.5M mobile subs. The cable companies have added more mobile subs than AT&T and Verizon combined in the last 5 quarters (almost 2M more subs). US Cellular and Dish continue to hemorrhage customers. Dish has lost almost a third of their customers since the start of their wireless business. US Cellular is looking to sell the business.

There was consequential movement into 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 good margin. However, China has made significant strides in the 5G enterprise segment. So, the “5G race” is in the eye of beholder, depending on the dimension of comparison, you can find a different winner.

Topics covered in the research update.

  • Q3 2023 US Mobile Market Highlights
  • 9M 2023: State of the industry
  • Is Dish Story Over?
  • Cable Cos continue to outperform US Cellular and Dish
  • Is FWA Cooling off?
  • Tug of War: Broadband vs. Mobile
  • Opex: The Silent Killer
  • 5G and 4th Wave
  • 5G: Truth, Lies, and Narratives
  • Getting 6G Right
  • Global 5G Race Update
  • What to Expect in the Coming Months?
  • US Wireless Market Q3 2023 Analysis
    • Service Revenues
    • ARPU
    • Subscribers
    • Competition
    • 5G Progress
    • Fixed Wireless Progress
    • Connected Devices
    • Handsets

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