The Associated Press
Wireless companies have started to release their earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here is a summary of reports and related developments for selected wireless companies and what they reveal about their own and the industry's prospects.
-- April 15: Dish Network Corp. offers $25.5 billion in cash and stock for Sprint Nextel Corp. in an attempt to snag the U.S. wireless carrier away from its Japanese suitor, Softbank Corp. If the Dish deal goes through, it would create a unique combination of pay-TV and wireless operator. Dish's hope is that it would lure customers with the promise of a TV service that they can take with them out of the house, on their phones.
-- April 18: Verizon Communications Inc. says service revenues at Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone carrier, rose 8.6 percent to $16.7 billion, accounting for more than half of overall revenue. At its closest rival AT&T Inc., wireless service revenue has been rising just over 4 percent per year. Verizon Wireless added a net 677,000 devices under contract during the quarter, meeting analyst expectations. Verizon ends the quarter with 93.2 million devices under contract. That is nearly one for every U.S. household.
-- April 23: AT&T Inc. says it lost phone subscribers from its contract-based plans for the first time in the latest quarter, in a sign that growth in the industry is stalling now that most Americans have smartphones. The company says it added a net 296,000 devices to its contract-based plans in the first quarter, but the gain was due entirely to tablets, which carry lower monthly fees. Excluding tablets, the carrier lost a net 69,000 devices from its contract-based plans.
-- April 24: Sprint Nextel Corp., the country's third-largest cellphone carrier, says it added just 12,000 customers to its Sprint brand in the quarter, and it would have lost 252,000 if it wasn't for Nextel customers moving over now that their network is being shut down. The number of new Sprint customers was the lowest for any quarter since 2009. There are just 1 million Nextel customers left, raising the question of what Sprint's subscriber trends will look like when they're gone.
MetroPCS Communications Inc., the country's fifth-largest cellphone carrier, says its shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the company's takeover by No. 4 T-Mobile USA. MetroPCS also says it added 108,668 subscribers during the first quarter to end with 9 million.
Sprint and T-Mobile say they are delaying shipments of Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4. They cite inventory issues.
-- April 25: Time Warner Cable Inc., the country's second-largest cable company, says it lost phone subscribers for the first time, after years of poaching them from phone companies. Time Warner Cable executives attributed the net loss of 22,000 phone subscribers to households opting to go wireless-only.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says T-Mobile has agreed to warn customers across the country about a catch to its new cellphone plans, which replace the traditional two-year service contract with an installment plan for phone buyers. Although buyers can cancel service at any time, Ferguson says the company hasn't told customers that they have to pay the full remaining cost of the phone right away if they cancel service. T-Mobile agrees to offer refunds to customers nationwide who previously bought phones since the plan was introduced on March 26.
-- April 30: Leap Wireless International Inc. says it lost 93,000 net customers in the quarter.
-- May 1: T-Mobile US Inc. begins trading under the ticker symbol TMUS after the completion of a combination of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.
-- May 3: U.S. Cellular Corp., the only major U.S. wireless carrier to resist the iPhone, says it's going to start selling it this year. The company didn't specify exactly when the company would start selling Apple's phone, or what models it would carry. CEO Mary Dillon says many of the customers leaving the Chicago-based company are doing so because it doesn't carry the iPhone.
-- May 8: Deutsche Telekom AG, parent of T-Mobile USA. The earnings cover the period before its combination with MetroPCS.
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