America Movil's Q4 results reveal that the carrier saw a customer decline year-on-year, with it reporting that it went down from about 26 million customers this time in 2016 to about 23.1 million customers for the fourth quarter of 2017. That's a loss of around 3 million customers in a year's time, which is a pretty big loss of subscribers for a carrier that is considered the largest MVNO in the U.S. In addition to seeing a loss in subscribers for the past 12 months, America Movil also reported 11.9-percent increase in blended ARPU, thanks to the increase in ARPU from the company's wireless brands Straight Talk and Total Wireless, two of the brands it operates in the U.S. alongside others such as TracFone and Safelink.
The company saw decreases in more than just subscribers for its U.S.-based wireless operator brands. EBITDA declined by about 26.4-percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to its 2016 numbers, which is likely a result of the decline in subscribers, around 685 thousand of which came from Safelink.
America Movil's fourth quarter wasn't all bad news. It reportedly saw an uptick in its revenues per user which is now at $24, up from $23 at the same time in 2016. This might sound like a minor increase in revenues but it is on a per-user basis, and that will amount to a much larger number when taking into account all of the users which it is now making $1 more from. While America Movil operates a number of wireless MVNO brands in the U.S. and is reportedly the largest, even after the customer decline over the past year, most of its business operates in Mexico and a number of Latin American countries, where it also saw huge losses, referred to as the "steepest loss" the company has over the last decade and a half. According to America Movil, the decline in EBITDA is largely influenced by "aggressive competition" in the prepaid wireless space, which is suggested to be a big indicator that major carrier in the U.S. (such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) are trying to convert prepaid subscribers to postpaid subscribers as much as they can.