While relatively quiet in the first half of the year, the competition in the U.S. wireless industry will strengthen over the final six months of 2018, Macquarie Research analysts wrote in this week's note to investors. The first two quarters saw the segment largely stagnate in terms of promotions and other efforts meant to help mobile service providers win new customers and keep their existing ones, which may have been related to the fact that three out of four national network operators in the country had their hands full with merger and acquisition activities, as per the same report.
As AT&T finally managed to wrap up the $85.6 billion purchase of Time Warner, the Dallas, Texas-based telecom giant is now ready to fully commit to new initiatives intended to make its offerings more competitive moving forward, particularly as it now has access to a vast content portfolio which can be leveraged to make its services even more attractive, the researchers believe. At the same time, T-Mobile and Sprint have only embarked on their path toward regulatory approval of their proposed consolidation and while many challenges await, the two companies have now officially filed their merger paperwork and are likely to start introducing aggressive promotions meant to convince the federal government and general public that their combined operations will bring even more consumer-friendly offers and practices.
Verizon's incoming Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg is also expected to start his reign with a major statement of intent that may come in the form of lower prices or other moves designed to help the largest wireless carrier in the country maintain its leading position in the industry, the analysts speculate. Likewise, Comcast and Charter are both expected to attempt growing their customer bases and the easiest way to do so is through new promotions. The competition in the segment is likely to grow even fiercer next year once the four largest network operators in the country begin large-scale 5G deployment efforts.