Analysts Hoping Verizon and AT&T Pricing becomes “Rational” This Year

January 12, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

For a while now, we’ve seen AT&T and Verizon not really care about Sprint and T-Mobile’s price war. But within the past year, T-Mobile has been adding a ton of new subscribers, more than Verizon actually. And with Verizon and AT&T’s churn rate going up and up each quarter, the tier 1 carriers are beginning to take notice and beginning to compete with the smaller carriers. Which is something I’ve been hoping for, for quite a while.

“While we still see an unsustainable industry structure, we are hopeful for more rational behavior” this year, Jefferies analysts Mike McCormack, Scott Goldman and Tudor Mustata wrote in a research note. So hopefully we’ll see better prices this year, as the four carriers start to compete more aggressively in 2015. If you combine T-Mobile and Sprint they still don’t really compete with Verizon or AT&T, which is why they have such a hard time competing. AT&T and Verizon have more customers, which means more revenue coming in and more profit. However, T-Mobile is making up ground, adding over 8 million customers in 2014. While Sprint is beginning to make up ground as well.

According to these analysts, the key areas to focus on in 2015 is how aggressive Sprint will be in pricing, T-Mobile in generating free cash flow, as well as Verizon and AT&T being willing to forgo subscriber growth in favor of maintaining higher margins and free cash flow. To put it simply, there’s a very interesting year coming for the mobile industry, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

With T-Mobile being disruptive, and now Sprint starting to follow that line of thinking, AT&T and Verizon are starting to get worried. We already have seen AT&T drop their prices numerous times, and pretty much copy T-Mobile’s data stash as their data rollover – they did do rollover for minutes years ago, so it’s not really a new thing for AT&T. How many of you are excited to see what happens with these carriers this year? Let us know in the comments below.