Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cellular Growth Expected in 2009

The Strategy Analytics (SA) has posted a new Wireless Network Strategies service report, “US Wireless Market Outlook: 2009 Key Trends,” and predicts that US cellular subscriber growth will remain strong despite the economic situation but growth levels will scale back slightly from 2008. US cellular service revenues will also continue to grow, albeit at a slower growth rate of 3.9%, down from 7.5% in 2008. This is consistent with some surveys I have heard about saying that the technology products people expect to continue to buy are cell phones and HDTVs (those products are part of our everyday life and we are not willing to give them up easily).

SA says that in the current economic climate, carriers must address tightening consumer wallets. “Rather than just pushing prepaid as the perfect recession-proof tariff, carriers will work to make postpaid plans more attractive to budget-conscious customers who are re-examining their cellular spend,” explains Phil Kendall, Director of the SA's Wireless Network Strategies service. SA predicts more positioning for value rather than straight out price competition. “All-you-can-eat operators MetroPCS and Leap Wireless should fare well and present a challenge, especially to T-Mobile USA. Strategy Analytics expects that Sprint will continue to struggle,” predicts Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Senior Analyst at SA and author of the report.

“The year 2009 will see heightened competition between AT&T Mobility and the new number one, Verizon Wireless—fresh from its acquisition of Alltel. These two will jockey for technology leadership on Long-Term Evolution (LTE), push wireless connectivity in consumer electronics devices and increasingly represent a larger share of total subscribers and service revenues.”

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