The shift to unlimited data plans impacts carriers’ financial and subscriber metrics across the U.S. wireless market
Wireless revenue rose 0.6% year-to-year to $57.8 billion among U.S. carriers in Technology Business Research Inc.’s (TBR) 2Q17 U.S. & Canada Mobile Operator Benchmark. Growth was driven by T-Mobile’s higher service revenue, buoyed by 1.3 million subscriber net additions in 2Q17, as well as most U.S. carriers increasing equipment revenue in the quarter via device installment plans. Sprint and T-Mobile also benefit from their leasing programs as they generate equipment revenue from the residual value of returned smartphones as well as reselling the devices to third parties. Most carriers, however, are struggling to increase service revenue due to the discounts given to customers on non-subsidized pricing plans as well as operators relying on aggressive pricing promotions to attract customers.