Churn rates of wireless carriers - additional information
The average monthly churn rate of wireless carriers refers to the average percentage of subscribers that cease to use the company’s services per month. The churn rate is used as an indicator of the health and loyalty of a company’s subscriber base and the lower the churn rate, the better the outlook is for the company. Verizon Wireless was the company with the lowest churn rate in the U.S. from 2013 to 2016. This success can be seen in the company’s revenue, with wireless services earning Verizon almost 90 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 alone.
AT&T’s churn rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 stood at 1.71 percent, the third lowest of all the wireless carriers in the U.S. The Texas-based company’s churn rate has remained relatively stable in recent years, although it has risen slightly since it was at its lowest of 1.31 percent in 2010 and 2015. The number of wireless subscribers of AT&T has nevertheless continued to grow, with the 146.8 million customers in 2016 marking the company’s highest ever total to date. Of these wireless subscribers 77.8 million held a postpaid subscription in comparison to just 13.5 million who were prepaid subscribers.
At 2.8 percent, Sprint Nextel was the wireless carrier with the highest churn rate in the U.S. in 2016. This high churn rate can be attributed to Sprint Nextel’s prepaid customer segment because whilst the postpaid churn rate has stayed mostly below 2.5 since the start of 2008, the prepaid churn rate stood at 5.62 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Although this churn rate has come down more recently after its peak at 9.93 percent at the start of 2008, it still remains higher than the company average and the respective churn rates of its competitors.