T-Mobile’s customers are more loyal than Verizon’s, AT&T’s, and Sprint’s (TMUS, S, T, VZ)

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T-Mobile boasts more loyal customers than any of the other Big Four telecoms, according to BI Intelligence’s exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer survey. 

In fact, almost a quarter of T-Mobile’s subscriber base said they wouldn’t switch mobile carriers for anything. Customer loyalty among the three other big US telecoms is low in comparison:

  • AT&T’s and Verizon’s customer bases aren’t nearly as loyal T-Mobile’s. Only 16% of AT&T subscribers said they wouldn’t switch on account of competing features. And an almost equal share of Verizon’s customers expressed the same sentiment — 15% said they wouldn’t switch.
  • Sprint ranked worst for customer loyalty among the Big Four. Only 7% of Sprint’s wireless subscribers said they wouldn’t switch carriers for anything.

The results are a huge win for T-Mobile — customer loyalty matters to US telecoms now more now than ever, for several reasons:

  • US smartphone penetration is approaching saturation, causing mobile carriers to fight over each other’s subscribers. About 95% of Americans own a cell phone and 77% own a smartphone, according to Pew Research, making new subscribers a rare commodity.
  • To win that fight, mobile carriers are engaging in a price war, which is compressing margins — and making customer volume more important than ever. Average revenue per user across the Big Four dropped to $45 in Q1 2017, from $49 in Q1 2014. To remain profitable, carriers need to maintain or grow their customer base.
  • The end of the two-year contract has made it easier for consumers to switch providers. Consumers have long been tethered to their carriers via contracts — being able to switch carriers quickly and without penalty makes loyal customers especially valuable for telecoms. 

But a more loyal customer base can only go so far in protecting T-Mobile from aggressive competition. Forty-two percent of T-Mobile subscribers said they’d switch to a provider that offered better coverage where they live. This is higher than both AT&T and Verizon. 

We dive deeper into telecoms’ consumer profiles in BI Intelligence’s upcoming Digital Telecom Consumer Report, which includes all the findings from BI Intelligence’s Digital Telecom Consumer survey. To get access to this report the moment it becomes available, click here.

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