Archive for February 5th, 2009

T-Mobile: Caught in the middle

Bernstein Research senior analyst Craig Moffett is predicting that T-Mobile may soon suffer the same fate as Sprint: seeing its subscriber growth siphoned off by mega-carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility. T-Mobile’s Q4 subscriber numbers last week weren’t  encouraging, and Moffett isn’t exactly expecting a big turnaround any time soon. According to Moffett, T-Mobile, like Sprint, is now suffering from the problems of middle:

“Recent reports from the major wireless providers in the U.S. make clear two trends: First, industry-wide subscriber growth is slowing sharply, a consequence of secular pressures from approaching saturation, and cyclical stresses from a weakening economy. Second, the market is bifurcating, with what growth remains increasingly concentrated at the high end and the low end. The middle is being hollowed out. Sprint and now, increasingly, T-Mobile USA as well–the two players who collectively define the middle market–look particularly disadvantaged. Weak Fourth Quarter results already reported by T-Mobile USA suggest that trends there are already deteriorating. We believe T-Mobile could soon join Sprint as a “share donor” to the both the high and low ends of the market.” more

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