Quarter 1 Results: National Net Adds, Postpaid Voice vs. Prepaid Voice

Wireless results are in for the first quarter and ShareTracker measured an interesting reversal of fortune in the prepaid segment.  In the first quarter of 2016, industry net additions for prepaid voice subscribers outpaced those of postpaid voice subscribers—a feat not seen in the first quarter since 2013.  As the chart below indicates, the first quarter of 2016 garnered a large volume of prepaid voice subscribers compared to virtually zero in the first quarter of 2015. Moreover, this was the second consecutive quarter where net additions for prepaid voice subscribers surpassed those of postpaid voice subscribers.  It was also the first time ShareTracker measured this occurrence in the fourth quarter since the advent of our enhanced methodology which launched in 2012.”

Phone Folly Comic

Why the interest in prepaid?  It boils down to three main influences—advertising, price, and quality.

Prepaid carriers have recently invested heavily in television advertisement campaigns during major sporting events—such as the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl—which charge high premiums for air time due to their large reach.  Consumers are learning that prepaid carriers run on major nationwide networks, providing coverage that is comparable to the big four carriers.  In addition, prepaid carriers are now offering high quality handset devices that previously were only available for consumers willing to sign a contract, which also is attracting more subscribers. ShareTracker believes the segment should only continue to grow.

Check back for our second quarter results to see if this trend holds true.

2017-04-30T11:28:05+00:00 June 14th, 2016|Categories: ShareTracker Articles, ShareTracker News|