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U.S. carriers will remain reliant on pricing incentives to attract subscribers in 2017 given the widespread availability of unlimited data plans

Wireless revenue decreased 0.7% year-to-year to $55.8 billion among U.S. carriers in Technology Business Research Inc.’s (TBR) 1Q17 U.S. & Canada Mobile Operator Benchmark. The decline followed lower average revenue per use (ARPU) stemming from discounts given to customers on nonsubsidized pricing plans as well as carrier reliance on aggressive pricing promotions to attract customers within the saturating smartphone market. Revenue growth is also being limited by lengthening device upgrade cycles as consumers are generally holding onto their devices longer due to the higher costs of nonsubsidized devices and new smartphone models becoming less appealing as technology matures.

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