Analysis: T-Mobile strategy could eat into business of AT&T, Verizon
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc is expected to post stronger subscriber growth than its larger rival AT&T Inc for the second straight quarter, suggesting the upstart carrier's bold new customer policies could shake up the U.S. mobile market.
Intensifying competition from T-Mobile, the No. 4 wireless provider, and a challenges from No. 3 Sprint Corp, may deplete revenue growth at AT&T and the market-leader Verizon Wireless at time of slowing overall growth.
Since March, T-Mobile has positioned itself as a consumer champion by promising more flexible policies and cheaper prices, aiming to address complaints about what Chief Executive John Legere calls a "stupid, broken, arrogant" industry.
The strategy seemed to bear fruit quickly as T-Mobile's second-quarter subscriber growth ended four years of losses and beat analyst estimates and AT&T's growth.
Now T-Mobile is expected to report another 444,000 net additions in its third-quarter report due November 5, according to the average estimate from seven analysts contacted by Reuters. Some of them say the estimates may prove too conservative.
By comparison, AT&T reported 363,000 net subscriber growth on Wednesday. And without tablets, analysts estimated that AT&T would have had a net subscriber loss.
While T-Mobile likely picked up customers from all its rivals in the quarter, AT&T is particularly vulnerable because its customers can easily move their phones to T-Mobile's service as both companies use the same network technology.
"T-Mobile is taking market share from everyone," said Craig Moffett an analyst at MoffettNathanson but, he added that it is "specifically targeting AT&T at every turn." Continued...